Stephen King's new book won't be available as an e-book


Stephen King has published over 50 books. (Elise Amendola/Associated Press)


First aired on As it Happens on 30/05/13

Next month Stephen King's new novel will hit the shelves only the old-fashioned way -- in paperback. Fans of e-books will need to power down if they want to get their hands on Joyland.  

That's because King has signed with a publisher that specializes in nostalgia. The publishers at Hard Case Crime design all of their products to look like the pulp books of the past. They are so dedicated to that old timey look that they refuse to digitize any of their books. 

"Our hope is that [the readers] will indulge in the old fashioned pleasure of the old fashioned book, printed on paper," publisher Charles Ardai explained to As It Happens' Carol Off. He says that King's new novel is the perfect candidate to be given a nostalgia based cover "because this is a book that is about old fashioned pleasures. It's a book that's a reminiscence of an older man remembering the summer before his senior year of college. And it is all about remembering worlds that are no longer around. Sadly, the world of paper books might not be around for much longer..."

Despite the waning popularity of paperbacks in favour of e-books, Hard Case Crimes is dedicated to their specialized craft of making pulp books. "As long as it lasts, Hard Case Crimes is going to be in there fighting the good fight for it," Ardai said. 

Hard Case Crimes is fighting the good fight for the art of book covers too. When Joyland is released, readers can be assured that they are getting a book made with love. "This is done with bristles on canvas with pigment. It stinks of linseed oil. One of our painters -- who is close to 90 years -- old mixes egg tempura which is pigment combined with raw egg. This is the old stuff and we're proud of it."

This is the second book of Stephen King's that will be published with Hard Case Crimes, they published King's 2005 novel Colorado Kid. Neither King nor Ardai are taking a stance, necessarily, against e-books. "We're not saying e-books are a bad thing and we're not saying you shouldn't publish them," Ardai said. "But there should be room for at least one line of books that remembers the old pleasures."

What do you think, are there certain books that don't translate into the digital form or should everything be made available for the option?

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