Driven by design: Indie publishers bring back love for physical books

All Things Books / Features

About Further Reading Print No.2: Boundaries,
Written by Hana Oktavia Anandira, and was originally published in Jakarta Post,
Aug 30, 2021


Arya was 12 when he received his first book, a pirated copy of Andrea Hirata’s 2005 novel Laskar Pelangi (The Rainbow Troops), which in 2008 was adapted into a hit film. It began his love affair with reading and the 25-year-old translator’s passion for collecting books.

But as the internet and e-books became more common, Arya’s book-buying habit dwindled. Unless it was a title particularly “worth collecting”, he would opt to purchase the e-book version via Amazon’s e-reader gadget Kindle. It boils down to practicality; e-books were cheaper and would take up no physical space.

Other than nostalgia, there were simply fewer compelling reasons to keep spending money on physical books. The design and layout of most physical books were straightforward, so why pay more only for it to gather dust? With e-books, bad presentation mattered less. After all, it was all about the content, not the collectability factor.

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