The death of the printed word is not a new debate. Kindles and smartphones are seizing market share from the publishing industry’s literal page-turners. As Nicholas Negroponte argues, that will be the end of the book as we know it in five years. His interview with CNN [available online] details why he believe why the traditional printing press will quickly become a relic before our current junior high students make it to college.
What do you think? Think that the book will actually die that soon [if at all]?
Thanks to Ronna for sharing the link!
No, I do not believe it. I’ve been hearing this for years and years, and guess what? The book is still here and still kickin’. Five years from now, the book will still be popular and this guy will be just a footnote in some forgotten archive.
I think it would make me sad if they did disappear. There’s something about the texture of the paper in your fingers or seeing the books on your shelf that is wonderful. And I love sitting with a child on my lap and sharing the magic of the printed page.
Time for a little Advanced Thinking 101, on this big warning. I myself cannot think good, but those who can, might be using these tools:
(1) Beware the Binary Dualism Fallacie, as in “is it either A or Z?” How about Analogy or percentage or “to what extent”? Books will remain. Old Oxbridge saying was “What’s new isn’t true, and what’s true isn’t new.” This went the opposite direction too much IMHO.
(2) Change 101. Speed of change. Sometimes fast, sometimes slow.
(3) Pro-Con Balanced Evaluation. List the good and the bad, points about option A, and B. (Vegetarianism vs. karnivorous. Metric system vs. Ordinary, which BTW only three nations in the world use, Liberia, Burma (Myanmar), et Les Etats Unis d’Amerique. (Getting off topic, whee.)
(4) Good old personal bias. Hooray to my emerging websight to reach millions, but also hooray to the hard kopi surviving in archives etc.
Chester Kartofflekopfe, Educational Educator, Flaneur
Books will not die out. They are cheaper to keep around even though they take up space. Once you own the book, it’s yours to keep. The publisher can’t keep charging you each year to have access to it. Or the internet may go down at the moment you want to read the book, then what? Books in print do not need to be migrated to the newest digital format and will stand the test of time. Keeping a hard copy will always be around in some format somewhere. There is a certain ambiance of sitting next to a bookshelf that seems to help people study.
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