The holiday season is approaching and as many people set out to search for gifts for loved ones, friends or colleagues, a hard discovery awaits them. Tried and true, books have remained one of the best gifts to give for any occasion, the perfect balance between thoughtful and laid back. However, the tumultuous pandemic economy has resulted in high demand for paper, ink and printing presses, leading to higher prices for books. Gone are the days when a hardcover novel didn’t cost an arm and a leg, with the average price of an adult fiction book being around C $ 34.00. The rise in the price of books is only one of the negative effects of the current inflationary trends threatening the extinction of libraries and small book businesses. Everyone should do their part by buying books from local bookstores and remembering to plan ahead to avoid resorting to big companies like Amazon.
Although the pandemic has led to a recent increase in demand for books, their production is becoming more and more expensive. The price of wood pulp has risen about 71% this year after an environmental initiative in China shut down many pulp and paper mills. The big price change sent book prices skyrocketing and production times slower. Additionally, the supply chain has been affected due to the pandemic, and long shipping delays are expected for the upcoming holiday season. This apparent shortage of books will certainly hamper many people’s plans to buy last minute, as there will be fewer books on the shelves and expected delivery times delayed, some extending into the New Year.
With the many obstacles to obtaining physical copies of books this year, the growing market for online literature like eBooks, Kindles, Kobos has exploded. Online literature tends to be cheaper – no costs to manufacture, distribute, or ship – so with book prices increasing this year, more cost-conscious consumers might pursue these options instead of. buy a physical copy. Also more environmentally friendly, investing in a Kindle or other digital library saves paper. While there are benefits to going online, physical books are still the best choice overall.
McGill has also jumped on the online literature bandwagon. Many English courses have started offering their texts in PDF format, selecting readings available on online resource platforms or offering course packs online so that students do not have to purchase a full collection. news. McGill courses in general have also adapted to life online: the majority of assignments can be submitted online, reducing the need for physical copies of assignments, and even some exams are now delivered online. However, with the blended learning program, many students find it difficult to adjust to fully distance learning. If physical copies of textbooks and novels are phased out, student productivity will almost certainly suffer, as hard copy reading is important for neurological understanding. Reducing screen time taking readings and taking notes offline helps with both concentration and retention, and reduces eye strain.
This phenomenon also has consequences for libraries. They too risk being rendered useless. This is particularly appalling, as libraries are one of the only public places people can visit without having to pay. Small businesses are also affected, with non-chain bookstores relying heavily on in-person customers. While bigger names like Indigo and Barnes & Noble may be able to stay afloat in this transitioning market, smaller names like SW Welch Bookseller of Montreal might not.
However, such a change in the literary market would be unlikely to happen before it can be prevented. Yet to keep the magical world of print literature alive, everyone must do their part: continue to buy books, especially from small businesses, and do holiday shopping as soon as possible to make sure it doesn’t. there are no empty presents under the tree.