Author: eBooks won't replace traditional novel

Sony's reader - popular
Sony's reader - popular

Best-selling novelist Michael Marshall has told TechRadar that he does not fear for paper books, although he concedes he will probably be buying himself an eBook reader fairly soon.

Ereaders are currently riding high in the tech news agenda, with Amazon unveiling its follow up to the Kindle and Sony's offerings winning rave reviews.

Marshall – whose current book Bad Things has just come out in hardback – is a confirmed technophile, but he believes that eReaders will compliment rather than push out the traditional book.


"eBooks are unlikely to replace paperbacks for me. That's not to say I won't buy one eventually," Marshall told TechRadar. "Techno-lust will always win, and I do like the idea of being able to take a entire library around with me.

"I'll need one that presents double pages, because that's an inherent part of the reading experience for me, that feeling of being nestled there in place between two pages of text.

"I'd also prefer one that didn't need batteries, couldn't crash, and would survive being dropped to the floor, getting a bit wet, being left in a box for twenty years and instantly working again... oh, hang on, that's a "book", isn't it."

Publishers' opinion

Simon Juden – the chief executive of the Publishers Association, a trade body for both electronic and traditional publishers – believes that the two technologies will be largely complimentary.

"I think ebooks are terrifically exciting, he said. "Inevitably there will be some cannibalisation of audience but the physical book will be around for decades because it has a physicality that eBooks cannot match.

"I think the eBook will aid us in bringing the printed word to a whole new audience, not just a younger generation but also those that have never been able to engage with books in the past, for whatever reason.

"The eBook has already been more successful than I have expected."

Patrick Goss

Patrick Goss is the ex-Editor in Chief of TechRadar. Patrick was a passionate and experienced journalist, and he has been lucky enough to work on some of the finest online properties on the planet, building audiences everywhere and establishing himself at the forefront of digital content.  After a long stint as the boss at TechRadar, Patrick has now moved on to a role with Apple, where he is the Managing Editor for the App Store in the UK.