Good article on how print will not die

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Good article on how print will not die

Postby Neil Vogler » 29 Jan 2010, 02:11

Hi all,

For your reading pleasure...

A good article over at the Guardian was just posted offering a very measured view of the ever-changing world of ebooks and how (broadly) history has already proved that books last and fads pass. It's a sober voice in a world currently drunk on techno-fetishism and rampant doom-mongering. Check it out below:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/jan/29/kindle-ipad-gutenberg-book-print

And may I just say JD Salinger, Rest In Peace.

N
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Re: Good article on how print will not die

Postby casnow » 29 Jan 2010, 04:20

I don't think anyone will (reasonably and honestly) argue that print books are going to disappear - I think what people will argue though is the percentage of books bought in print vs. digital, and who's going to get the money from that.
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Re: Good article on how print will not die

Postby Nathan Bransford » 01 Feb 2010, 18:29

Very interesting article - the same could be said for print publishers too. Their obituaries have been written many, many times and they're still around as well.
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Re: Good article on how print will not die

Postby JFBookman » 04 Feb 2010, 14:16

Interesting article, and god, I hope Mr. Jenkins is right, but I found his article, despite his thrice repeated "30 years experience" of ebooks, wrong on multiple counts, and offputtingly elitist. There doesn't seem to be any force propelling the printed book to its death in the next few months. These changes take time and lots of it. But personally--and I say this as an avid proponent of ink on paper--I think the printed book is doomed. Between the financial pressures and the ecological pressures, I think printed books will survive as "special editions" or the like. People reared today, reading for their entire lives on screens, are simply different in their habits and expectations from those of us raised on books. It seems that the world is switching away from "books" and toward "texts" since books are intrinsically things that are bound together, and in the electronic world text is set free of those bonds. And I just don't like being called a "boffin" anyway. Just one man's opinion, but thanks for pointing the article out.
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Re: Good article on how print will not die

Postby tameson » 04 Feb 2010, 15:03

My daughter is three and she loves computers (she has her own laptop- an old one that was too unreliable for use on anything important). But, she also loves books. When learning to read, kids like holding the book, they like looking at color pictures and flipping the pages to their favorite place. Since so much of learning to read is done with hard copy, even as kids grow up used to computers, their first impression of books is physical. I do think ebooks will become much more popular, but I can not imagine hard copy books ever going away.
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Re: Good article on how print will not die

Postby MosesSiregar » 04 Feb 2010, 17:22

His argument is a bit strange while he's saying that an electronic tablet from three decades ago didn't kill books. Well, yeah. But we've never lived in a time when millions of people own dedicated ereaders, and when that trend towards reading on electronic devices is on a huge upswing. Also look at how much reading has shifted to electronic formats over just the last five or ten years (or even the last year or two). That's just a brief moment in time from a longterm perspective. Ten or twenty years from now, it will be a whole new ballgame.
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Re: Good article on how print will not die

Postby Nathan Bransford » 04 Feb 2010, 18:23

Jeff Abbott passed me a cool blog post from John Scalzi about how the publishing industry won't die: http://whatever.scalzi.com/2010/02/03/w ... hree-acts/
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Re: Good article on how print will not die

Postby JFBookman » 04 Feb 2010, 21:21

Nathan,

Thanks for the link to the Scalzi post. Really terrific stuff, and a great twist in the ending.

I have no doubt there will always be publishers, and editors, researchers, fact checkers, the edifice of publishing isn't going to go away. But even though I've spent a lifetime as a fan of the printed book, of typography, and have built handpresses and set type by hand, and amassed a library of books on books (ever read the Anatomy of Bibliomania by Holbrook Jackson? Good read.) I don't think the change can be stopped. The pressure of diminishing resources, the waste involved in book production and distribution and the unleashing of text in electronic formats seem like overwhelming reasons the printed book is in trouble. It may survive, marginalized, and the process could take a very long time, but it seems as inevitable as the closing of Blockbuster stores did 5 years ago. The writing was is the wall.
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