Will Books Become Obsolete?
Will Books Disappear?
Books becoming obsolete and disappearing altogether seems rather far fetched, but is it? I have loved books all my life. Since I was a small child I always had a book in my hand. As I grew older I still enjoyed reading although the amount of time I could dedicate to this pleasure became infringed upon with work and children etc. etc. You know the story.
I still feel the attraction to the printed book. I love libraries and I could spend days in a bookstore. I just feel good in those places. The thought that bookstores and libraries may not exist in the future saddens me. I hope I do not see this happen in my lifetime. I honestly hope it will never happen. Technology persists and many forms of print media will fall to the digital age. Will books disappear? Lets examine the future of the beloved book.
The E Reader
On the road to the disappearance of books; we have the E-Reader. This little device has changed things somewhat. In the back of my mind I have made a note to self to look into them. I have a friend who swears by it and loves her Kindle. My reluctance? I don't like reading on screens unless I have no choice.
Books have not disappeared yet so I still have that choice. I love the feel, look and even the smell of a new book. I don't know but curling up with your E-reader just doesn't seem as enticing to me.
These devices do present one definite advantage. Travel. For those of us who love to catch up on our reading on vacation, you can't beat bringing along your E-Reader. For voracious readers, packing and lugging all those books around is difficult. E-Readers can carry hundreds of titles. So I can see having one just for this purpose.
Another obvious advantage is the environmental impact. One cannot deny that many trees will be saved by the use of technology.
Another advantage and an interesting statistic I found was that 59 percent of the purchases of digital reading devices are by people over the age of 55! This is likely due to the fact you can increase print size easily on an E-reader. The younger generation is not purchasing these devices. Remember E-readers are book readers. Will the printed book become obsolete during the lifetimes of the "digital native"?
Do You Own an E-Reader?
The Digital Native
Growing up with Books and Technology
I have recently learned some new terms. I first heard the phrase "digital native" at a conference I attended. It will eventually, I believe, become the moniker they give the generation that comes after the millenniels. But my research reveals that it refers to anyone born after 1980.
Being born after that year means you have grown up with the internet and you will not remember the way life was before it. Older people, the other hand are considered "digital immigrants". They had to "immigrate" to this new digital land and learn how to use it. I marvel at my how my children (all born after 1980) embrace new forms of technology. Have you ever seen them look at the manual? Never. They pick up the new gadget and they use it immediately. They just know how. Their brains are wired differently I suppose. My children had computers in their kindergarten classroom so it is no wonder.
Statistics on the "digital natives" show that they do most of their reading on the web. Only seven minutes per day is spent reading from books!
I am unsure of this generation and those statistics. I have twin daughters born in 1995. One rarely touches a book but the other is a reader. She buys and swaps books with her friends. She checks books out of the library and she buys books at book stores. Never once asking for a kindle or similar device.
I don't believe this generation will see the demise of books. I still see the interest of my daughter and her friends born in the '90s. I think it is the generation born later that we may have to worry about. Or do we? Will there always be bookworms? Is it a human trait that will endure?
The Bookless Public Library is Here.... - Can it be true?
Apparently a "bookless" library is being designed for launch in San Antonio, Texas in the fall of 2013. Will it take off? Will it be popular? This remains to be seen. Something to watch as this could be the beginning of the end for paper books.
- A New Chapter? A Launch Of The Bookless Library : NPR
Imagine a library without books - only computers and gadgets. That's the vision of one Texas county that plans to launch a digital-only public library. Despite the project's cost-efficiency, one librarian argues that the plan may be too ambitious.
Print Media and You!
Do you consider yourself a bookworm? An avid reader?
The Future of Print Media
Reference Books and Newspapers
The Oxford English Dictionary has announced that it will no longer have a printed edition. I suppose this should be an alarming turn. But I don't believe so. The dictionary online is what I use. It is quick and convenient. If the print media is providing factual information, or reporting current events, they will eventually fall to the digitial format as generations pass.
Most major newspapers have a digital version. With the web we get our news instantaneously, as it happens, updating as we go along. Twitter has the scoop long before the news even hits the web. I was told about the death of Michael Jackson by my daughter who found out via Twitter. I didn't believe her especially when she told me the source. I have come to find that the "twitterverse" is quite reliable. My daughters often report things to me and more often than not it comes from their twitter feeds.
I am not sure how long newspapers will hold on. I know I used to love to read the paper. I don't anymore. I grew up with it being delivered daily to my house. My parents still have the newspaper delivered daily, but they don't have access to the web. They didn't digitally immigrate! If there is some news event I want to get an update on I usually "Google it".
But books are different. They are an art form filled with ideas and creativity. Hardcovers may not survive, as they are expensive and it is much less expensive to download books on your E-Reader or wait until the paperback comes out. I can't remember the last time I read or purchased a hardcover book. I remember getting one as a gift for Christmas. It was a new release from an favourite author and given to me by my mother.... in 1982.
But wait, remember that daughter of mine who is a reader? She has hardcovers. Yes, the most popular books like "The Hunger Games" are being passed around her friends. Interesting, but still, most books don't reach that level of popularity with a movie deal and all.
So we may see many types of print media disappear but will books that are read for pleasure and ideas be among them?
The End of Newspapers?
Do You Read Newspapers?
Will Books Become Obsolete? Credibility
Printed Media has Permanency
Print is permanent. It cannot be easily changed. That passage you found and quoted on the web could be gone tomorrow, not so with print.
Books go to publishers and are scrutinized and put through a process. A lot of time is spend in editing, printing and promotion. You have to have something interesting to say and you must be creative. Your writing is being judged before it is released to the world. Not so in the digital form. Anyone can now write an ebook build a website and sell the information. There are no referees.
Digital media can also be changed and updated quite easily. Didn't have the facts straight - no problem, push button edit. This is not so with the printed word, you must ensure what you are producing is accurate before it finds its way into the hands the consumer. Digital media does not require this certainty of accuracy. Speed is the the driver. After all time is money and it can always be updated later, right?
So, having a book in print says something about the author. It gives the author more credibility as it speaks to their commitment on the topic. Again, this may change over time but perhaps the printed word will become the domain of the creative elite? Definitely food for thought.
Will Books Disappear: The Staying Power of Art
The Art of Books
Books as Art. Books are much more aesthetically pleasing than the E-readers they are uploaded on. No one can argue the beauty of a book. The feel of it in your hand, the smell, the stylish cover, your favourite bookmark. All aesthetic pleasures. We are still human no matter how far we take our technology. We still appreciate design. Books are art. They hold our creativity in a pleasing format.
Remember candles were once the only means of lighting at night. We have had electricity now for centuries, yet the candle persists because it is beautiful, romantic, relaxing and a business worth millions! This is just one example but there are many. Technologies will become obsolete because we make something better and faster. Remember the eight track tape? Books have artistic value while eight tracks are clunky and ugly.
I was in a record store the other day and I saw a vinyl record by Adele. Adele? Hey, she was born after 1980! So the vinyl record is perhaps an art form now. A collectible. The jacket had a large photo of her face in black and white. Beautiful.
Handwriting is another art form. My children can barely write in cursive script but are adept at the keyboard. But handwriting is beautiful and will endure as a craft.
Books will also endure in my opinion. There is still a large segment of the population who love books in the printed format. I am one of those people and my young daughter is one too. Are you?
Are you a book lover or is digital for you?
The Future of Books
Do you think Books Will Become Obsolete?