So, what is the future of Books?

As I have mentioned in class, there are only two people who can tell you the future: God and a fool. Well, knowing that I am God, and looking into my crystal ball, the future looks interesting to me. I hope it is also interesting to you. At this stage of the class we are looking in the past, present and future of Books.

Johannes Gutenberg invention of the printing press brought the Bible to the masses and ushered a new era in mass book distribution. From the prized possession of the few the mass, the Bible made its way to the masses. Ink on paper has become and continue to be a reality of books both in hard-back and paper-back.

Enter the 21st Century and the invention of new electronic tablets ushered a new era in book publishing and distribution. From the Kindle to the iPad new platforms are coming to the marketplace faster than anyone of us can keep up with. Your text-book Media Shift chronicles the history of books from its beginnings in 1455 until the present time. Read chapter two in the book and see what you can learn about the evolution of books through the decades.

Then, click here to read this article from The Economist on the future of books and the predictions on how your generation will be reading. Is it going to be ink on paper or pixels on a screen. What do you think? Let me know by entering your comments in the comment section below. Enjoy.

PS: Your test three is going to be on Monday Sept. 13 and will contain 20 questions: 10 from the lectures and blogs, 6 from Chapter Two from the book and 4 current affairs questions from the events of this week. Good luck.


About Samir "Mr. Magazine™" Husni, Ph.D.

Samir Husni, aka Mr. Magazine™, is the founder and director of the Magazine Innovation Center at the University of Mississippi. He is also Professor and Hederman Lecturer of Journalism at the School of Journalism and New Media. Dr. Husni is the author of the annual Samir Husni's Guide to New Magazines, which is now in its 28th year. He is also the author of Launch Your Own Magazine: A Guide for Succeeding in Today's Marketplace published by Hamblett House, Inc. and Selling Content: The Step-by-Step Art of Packaging Your Own Magazine, published by Kendall Hunt, Magazine Publishing in the 21st Century, published by Kendall Hunt, and co-author of Design Your Own Magazine. He has presented seminars on trends in American magazines to the editorial, advertising and sales staff of the magazine groups of the Morris Communications Company, Hearst Corp., Hachette Filipacchi Magazines, Meredith Corp., Reader's Digest Magazine, ESPN the magazine, Sail Magazine, American Airlines Publishing, the National Geographic Society, the Swedish magazine group Bonnier, the Finnish magazine group Sanoma Magazines, Southern Progress magazines, New South Publishing, Inc., the Society of Professional Journalists, the American Society of Magazine Editors, Vance Publishing Corporation, the Florida Magazine Association, The Magazine Association of Georgia, the National Society of Black Journalists, the Japanese Magazine Publishers Association, and the American Press Institute. He is "the country's leading magazine expert," according to Forbes ASAP magazine, "the nation's leading authority on new magazines," according to min:media industry newsletter; and The Chicago Tribune dubbed him "the planet's leading expert on new magazines." Dr. Husni has been interviewed by major U.S. media on subjects related to the magazine industry. He has been profiled and is regularly quoted in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, USA Today, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and many other newspapers nationwide, as well as the major newsweeklies and a host of trade publications. He has appeared on Good Morning America, CNBC, CNN, CNNFN, PBS, and on numerous radio talk shows including National Public Radio's Morning and Weekend Editions. Dr. Husni has also served as an expert witness in several lawsuits involving major media corporations including Time Inc. and American Express Publishing among others. He has been a judge of The National Magazines Awards, The Evangelical Magazines Association, The City and Regional Magazines Association, and The Florida and Georgia Magazine Association Awards. Dr. Husni is the President and CEO of Magazine Consulting & Research, a firm specializing in new magazine launches, repositioning of established magazines, and packaging publications for better sales and presentations. Dr. Husni holds a doctorate in journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia and a master's degree in journalism from the University of North Texas. When he is not in his office reading magazines, Dr. Husni is at the newsstands buying magazines.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

56 Responses to So, what is the future of Books?

  1. Sally White says:

    I really belive that although there are iPads, Kindles, etc, the main source of reading and learning for our generation will continue to be from ink on paper.

  2. Michael Prestwich says:

    I don’t believe that E-books will ever fully replace paper books. I believe there will be a call for text books to be produced electronically, to offset the ridiculous cost college students must pay for said books. E-books don’t offer the comfort that traditional books do. I have attempted to read online versions of books in the past, but as the author stated, it is very hard to read uninterrupted.

  3. A paperback or hardcover will never be replaced. Literature is too much of an art-form to let that happen. I could see textbooks, or non-fictions being more scarce on paper in the future just because it is sometimes easier to learn with an interactive screen. A book is an escape. An electronic device like a computer is an escape. You can’t use an escape within an escape because it would be too distracting.

  4. Ellen Graves says:

    One of the main things iPads and Kindles bring to its customers is convenience. Instead of carrying around several newspapers and books, anything a person could feel like reading would be at their fingertips on the iPad or Kindle. Also, having one source for every textbook a student might need would be a great convenience. I can see the bright side of just carrying my iPad to class instead of my bulky backpack filled with overpriced textbooks. I do believe that in the future, maybe not in my lifetime, but eventually, each person will turn to a digitised form of reading material. However, there is nothing like holding a book with your own two hands, turning each page with anticipation without having to worry if the battery will die.

  5. Andrew Dunham says:

    As all who have posted before me, paper and ink will never be replaced. I personally will always buy books over any type of electronic reading device.

  6. Jonece Dunigan says:

    Call me a gypsie, but I believe you guys are not looking deep enough into the crystal ball here.

  7. Charles Hale Robinson says:

    I’m with Ellen ^ on this one. Will pixels replace ink in our generation? Probably not entirely, but someday.

  8. Angela Rogalski says:

    Chapter Two of Media Shift states that the first two digital readers to hit the market were the Sony Reader and the Kindle, both produced by Amazon. Both were designed to make the digital reading experience more like that of traditional books. Now, other than saving trees…and I think that is a very important feature of the digital age…if traditional reading is so worthy of imitation, why are we so hell-bent on changing things? I can’t imagine NEVER being able to buy a bound copy of my favorite book. I can’t imagine NEVER curling up on my couch with a roaring fire in the fireplace and a mug of hot chocolate to warm me on on a cold winter’s day, with my favorite book clutched in my hand. It’s almost unthinkable. But I’m also very selfish. I want to be able to go online and read anything that I want, if I want, when I want. As my little girl’s favorite singer informs the masses daily, and almost minute by minute thanks to the infernal Disney Channel, “She gets the best of both worlds.” That’s what I want…the best of both worlds. Right now, I’m getting it. In the future…I’m not sure. Maybe every book ever written will be digital only, I just don’t know. With all the scanning going on over at Google, it looks highly possible. If that’s so, you can bet every Silhouette and Harlequin and Fabio-covered edition of every romance novel that I own will stop being hauled out at my garage sales…because from now on, I’m keeping them!

  9. Jonece Dunigan says:

    My father was amazed when he had a GPS in his hand because he only saw the device in Star Trek. Before I moved on campus, I taught my mother how to text me important messages while whenever she needed something important from me. That way she will not have to worry about getting yelled at by her boss for calling me. Believe me, it was harder than teaching a baby how to go potty. Why? Because mom told me that she would have looked at a person crazy if someone said that mail boxes would be sitting in people’s pocket.
    As I have stated in a blog before, there are many things that exist today that our parents could only dream about back then. The media is constantly evolving. Why shouldn’t books be the same way. I know it sounds out there. “Pixels instead of pages? THAT’S PERPOSTERROUS!” But that is what the 8 track generation said about the iTunes generation.
    Now about this thing called comfort….
    My father could have just jumped online, looked up, and received directions to his location. Mom could have just risked her job and found the nearest computer to send me an e-mail. Yet they know that life does not have a pause button. To them, COMFORT is CONVIENT and convenient is personalization.
    Join me in a tail about my fabulous adventure in the library when I lived in Middle of Nowhere, Mississippi. I had to drive half an hour to get to the library, then ask the assistant at the front desk (if I was lucky and she wasn’t stinky with attitude.) where the book was located, go find the gigamormous shelf and search through books I don’t care about to get what I want. If I just had an e-book, I could do that hour adventure in less than ten minutes.

  10. Katie Keatley says:

    I do think that paperback and hardback books are going to become less and less abundant. I feel that in a few years, you will be able to access just about anything on your iphone, ipad, etc, and you will no longer feel the need to purchase an actual book.

  11. maridane says:

    I thought the article was extremely interesting. While it would be extremely convenient to have certain types of books available electronically, like non-fiction research books, but I know I would not buy books to read for entertainment in that form. For me, holding the book and turning the pages is part of the experience of reading. It would take away from that experience if it were any other way, so I do not think the future of books has anything to do with technology.

  12. gillon91 says:

    Technology may make things easier, but is our world that dependent that we would have to replace a traditonal pastime such as a paperback/hardcover book? No, i dont think in the future technology would have taken things of such away. This opinion coming from a future author, books take you away from the real world and i believe one cannot get that same feeling from holding a kindle or reading from the internet that just might Power off at anytime. Holding a book, there is no power off button, that is the great thing about it, the reader holds the POWER.

  13. Justin Taylor says:

    I do not think that ink and paper will ever be replaced, at least not in my lifetime. As the article said, people like to read in bed, on the beach, and in other places that computers can’t go.
    Humans like to be able to hold something to show off and say “this is mine. this is my own personal copy”. I do not think something digital feels as personal as something that is physically there.

  14. Olivia Rearick says:

    I do not believe e-books will override paper books, at least not in our generation. I personally find it hard to sit in front of a computer reading an essay or short story let alone a textbook, I prefer to read from an actual book. And although the change to electronic books is apparent, hopefully it will not happen soon.

  15. taylorharrell says:

    i feel that books are becoming very outdated because of all the technology our world has created. Not only are physical books becoming outdated, but i feel reading them is as well. Reading these days is not as important or enjoyed as much as it used to be back in our parent’s and grandparent’s time. Everywhere you go there are kids not even completing the assigned reading for their classes, instead they turn to sparknotes to get the summarized version of what is going on. Reading these days has just become very old school with all of the different forms of technology and all of the variety of films. Most books now have a movie made or at least an audio tape that can substitute for actually sitting down and reading the book. Ipads and the Kindle are definitely helping decrease the sale of actual paperback books. With how “eco-friendly” this world has become today it does not surprise me that people are finding ways to use as little paper as possible, and with all the paper that producing books uses the new forms of electronic reading are much more efficient.

  16. Caty Cambron says:

    I agree, it goes back in connection with the previous blog about Apps taking over. I believe although there are multiple sources of technology that are continually evolving so that one can use it for everything, such as the iPad, laptop, iPod, books will never die. There are too many people who like to keep their utilities separate from each other, and the ultimate one is literature and books. Books are not only used for the literature contained inside but they also can be used for art and design.

    I also agree with the article when it says that people buy books because they are “souvenirs of the way we felt”. They are reminders of the places we were when reading them and of the effect the book’s message had upon us. Literature has always been a means of escape plus a form of expressing oneself, not only for the reader but also for the writer. The common expression, “I became lost in this book…”, will cease to exist. Becoming lost between the lines of words and endless pages in a book is simply not the same as becoming lost in a computer or toy gadget. That just means you’ve been staring at the screen for too long.

  17. Lauren McMillin says:

    While online books are convenient for looking up snippets of this and that, I believe that I will always be in favor of actual books. Maybe it’s because I’m a more tactile learner, but being able to flip through the pages and highlight and take notes in a book help me grasp the text more clearly, as opposed to on screen where I am more prone to skim through the text and scroll quickly to the end. While it may be said that electronic books, such as those on the web and through programs like Kindle, may be easier to access and are more portable, what happens if the program suddenly crashes?For some people, this may be perfectly fine and what they would even prefer. As for myself, however, I will stick to the actual books. I can see things definitely going more digitalized in the future, but I believe that paper books will always be around.

  18. Kyndall Cox says:

    This is just a further example of how the world and technology is progressing. Physical books, however, will not become nonexistent. Their sales, similar to that of music albums will more than likely decline. People should not fear. There will always be books.

  19. Brittani Acuff says:

    I feel if we get rid of books we get rid of history. Today we still read the classics from Jane Eyre to the Tale of Two Cities. The new technology of the iPad and books are great but not everyone has one and I believe most people like to have the book in hand and physically turn the pages. I do believe that book sales will decline but not enough that they become no more. Plus we always need books because books now start empires like Harry Potter and Twilight.

  20. Kayleigh Webb says:

    As an avid reader of books, I really do hope that books don’t fully become digitized. I’d much rather carry around a paperback instead of staring at a screen. My eyes start to cross when reading text on screen too long. I also love the feeling of triumphant I get when I close the back cover of a book I’ve finished reading.

  21. Elizabeth Sales says:

    There is nothing I love more than a paper back book at the beach. Even though the pages get soggy sometimes, I still like the smell of the paper. However, I am somewhat biased. I bought an amazon kindle this summer. Why? Simply because it is convenient. It’s portable, also I can download a book in less that sixty seconds no matter where I am in the world. I don’t have to go to a bookstore to get a book before a vacation, I can instantly download it while I’m waiting to board an airplane. I think that eventually many paperbacks or books will disappear. The generation of the eBook has just begun. This has both pros and cons. Pros- Portable, Instant, Less time consuming, and pretty much always reliable. Cons- It is taking away the past time of books and hurts publishing companies. Like I said, I love a paperback book but I don’t know if I’d give up my kindle for anything….

  22. Abby Abide says:

    Today my Honors 101 class met at Square Books, and the owner and manager (who were very worried) asked my class how we felt on this topic. The majority of us didn’t see digital books replacing paper very soon, but we could all see the advantages of not having to carry around textbooks.
    I read in an article that many people who have e-readers aren’t really getting their money’s worth because they don’t read enough books that it would warrant the cost of a Kindle or an iPad. I guess it really depends on what type of reader you are that would decide on whether or not it’s even worth buying.
    Professor Husni, I think the picture of you with your crystal ball is great! I started laughing immediately after seeing it!

  23. Arlissa Sneed says:

    I think the article was correct about things like phone books, encyclopedias, and other scholarly print eventually migrating to digital. Having a digital “Library of Alexandra” might save knowledge as physical books and libraries are damaged or destroyed. I am not sure I agree that cookbooks will eventually all be digital. It’s not always easy to drag the computer in the kitchen while cooking and having expensive electronics around boiling water and sticky ingredients may not be the best idea.
    Overall, I do not think that the printed book will completely disappear. Kindles and such are very convenient but they do have a battery life that a printed book does not. Also, reading buffs usually like having printed books around them. Personally, being able to have a physical copy of a book on my shelf brings me joy and pride. They are almost like little trophies to show how I have read a variety of things and thus expanded my thinking.

  24. Stevie Farrar says:

    I find it humorous that Sony’s Ron Hawkins would claim that Sony does not aim to replace written text with their online book system. I think we all know quite well that if replacing written books with digital ones is what society wants, then that is exactly what Mr. Hawkins will provide. But I don’t believe that this is truly what society wants. Yes, we want things to be more convenient and concise, but in the terms of written books, I believe that Americans are not quite ready to lose this art form to the technological future. The article mentioned how books that we use selectively, such as cookbooks and telephone directories, will likely cease to be printed and move to online databases only. I consider this to be highly likely, especially after reading last week’s article on the possible death of the web. There already are apps for food and drink recipes; I won’t be surprised the day the Yellow Pages app pops up on my Ipod. Yet I still strongly disagree with the idea of written books being lost to online databases. While quick reads may find success in digitized formats, I feel that novels will not. One does not sit down to read a novel in thirty minutes. They plan to become absorbed in the storyline, content to sacrifice however many hours, days, or weeks necessary so that they can experience the full effect of this piece of literary artwork. That is just what these books are – art. Someone has poured their heart, time, and effort into those small black words that consume each page; it deserves to be appreciated. You would not approach an original Monet, only to glance at it for a brief moment and then move on to the next painting. You stand and observe, searching for the meaning that the artist seeks to portray. It is the same with books. Plus, staring at the computer screen hurts my eyes; staring at paper doesn’t. That alone is reason enough for me to forgo digital books.

    Oh, and nice pic, Dr. Husni 🙂

  25. Ashley Locke says:

    I, along with most previous commenters, prefer the hardcopy of a book over an electronic reader. If my bookshelf were reduced to a single ipad or kindle, I believe I’d feel quite empty as if I’d lost something. Even though I prefer my books bound, I think that in the future digital print will take over. We were the first generation to grow up with cell phone access, and now the majority of teens with cell phones would NEVER give them up. Even though e-readers don’t connect us peer to peer, I think they will follow that course. There will be a generation that grows up with electronic books, and they won’t turn back. Student backpacks will be lightened with textbooks. They could use that same device to access summer and required reading for school. Teachers will like it because kids who normally wouldn’t pick up a book will now have them at their fingertips, and they’ll be able to “test” books that sound interesting without leaving their home. Many digital books are cheaper than the ink on paper variety. Most e-readers today offer the ability to mark pages, hi-light passages, and make notes in the margins of the e-books. Also, many sites allow ANYONE to write a story, publish it electronically, and sell it online. This easier alternative to sending a manuscript to a publisher could change the way books are released. The ease of access and growing usage (many of the older folks are using e-books like crazy) will inevitably lead to a dominantly digital era. Though I don’t think books will ever be obsolete, I do think they will lag behind e-books tremendously.

  26. Callie Daniels says:

    With all of these commenters agreeing that having books is better than digital stories, I believe the books shall indeed remain.

  27. Jory Tally says:

    In my opinion, I think books will always be around even with all of the new technology advancing. I enjoy reading things from paper more than off of a screen because my eyes can not handle the screen very long. I also feel more traditional reading a hardcopy book. This article was very interesting to me because this is something people do not think about everyday. I have never thought of the idea of not having books around.

  28. Brittany Stubbs says:

    Every time a new phone, computer, online reader etc. comes out, you make a choice: with you follow the trend and stay “hip” with your gadgets (even if that means blowing $500) or stay stubborn and keep to what has always been. Our generation and the generation ahead with make the same choice. Some will jump on the train and start reading and learning everything from pixels on a screen, and others will stick to the way their parents did it and how they were taught, with ink and paper. So until those stubborn….or old fashioned souls give up their old ways, our books won’t go anywhere until our society turns into one like in the book Fahrenheit 451 (by Ray Bradbury).

  29. Jean Phillips says:

    As much as I hate to say it (I really do loathe most of this new technology), I think that in the future, e-readers like the Kindle or iPad will become the standard way in which people access books. However, it is impossible to say when that shift will occur: the next ten, twenty, or fifty years? Who knows?

    I know that Dr. Husni said today in class, as it is found in the textbook, that on Christmas Day 2009 Amazon sold more digital than paper books. But, looking at figures like that, one has to wonder if there isn’t a bit of propaganda in that statement on behalf of those selling the books, like Amazon. When arriving at that figure, I wonder if Amazon took into account the number of used books that were sold, which are often sold by third parties which Amazon merely hosts, or if Amazon was only counting the number of books it personally sold that day. Sometimes the numbers can be deceiving. I would also like to point out, while on the topic of book sales, that not everyone who reads books can afford to buy books. I personally read all the time, but I get my books from the library. For me, it’s much more cost-efficient, and it takes care of that pesky problem of trying to store all of those books.

    However, back to the topic at hand. Like I mentioned, I believe that e-readers will become ever more popular, but I don’t believe that books will entirely “die out.” Consider the music industry: sure, you can get your music from places like iTunes. But for the true die-hards, collecting music in the form of vinyl records is a cherished activity. I see the future of books going the same way. Sure, you can get your books digitally, but for some people, it will still be more important to have the actual, tangible object, and that’s not going to change.

  30. Anna Waggoner says:

    I think that as the digital world continues to grow, as well as the “go green” movements continue to spread, that ink and paper will slowly head towards extinction. Not only are companies looking to save paper, but having it available in a digital format allows for easier and much wider spread access, which caters to our demanding society today. Though there are the few who cling to their traditional love of curling up with a good book, the younger generations that are being raised in this “screen-centered” age, will develop their own love, of a digital book rather than a hard back, and the shift will eventually be widespread.

  31. Ariel Ladner says:

    Though I do use my computer and I am constantly connected digitally, nothing can ever replace the comfort of ink. I rather use my brain and pick up a newspaper and read or go to Barnes and Nobles and pick up books by my favorite author. Even though the world of digitally inclined people are always moving forward, I will never hand my entire life over to it. I love picking up a hard back book and curling up in front of the fireplace and reading. Regardless of what the world does I believe paper and ink will always have a place with me.

  32. Alexa Bafalis says:

    I think the future generation is headed to a life that is completely dependent on technology for EVERYTHING. The future of books are going to be viewed as pixels on a screen because as Anna has stated, our society is very adamant about turning our world in to total “Go Green” mode. People are so eco-friendly that it would make sense to reduce the amount of paper used, by digitizing books. I think with the rise in technology, there is going to be a drastic drop in the amount of people that go to the store and purchase paperback books when they can simply have it before them with an easy click of a mouse. Personally I like having the book physically in my hands when I want to read. For me, staring at a screen for hours does not sound enjoyable in the least bit. People in this day and age are obsessed with spending their free time on the computer, phones, iPad, etc. so staring at a screen to read a book is not an inconvenience. Case in point, the future of books are going to be viewed as pixels on a screen.

  33. Wanda P. says:

    There are still people who don’t read to save their life. I never read a ebook before and i doubt that i ever will. But theres not any thing wrong with digital books but im old school i like to have a physicaly book in front of me to get the full affect of the book.

  34. Madison Hill says:

    I will always love the way it feels to hold a book and turn the pages. I love the feel and smell of the pages. I love the atmosphere of a book store. And I know I’m not the only one. The reason books will never disappear is not logical, it is emotional. People make more of a connection holding a book rather than squinting at a screen. Surely ebooks will become more popular, and I’m glad because it’s a much more “green” way to read, but books will never die out.

  35. Evan Brewster says:

    I, personally, like having a physical books when i would be going to read it. This is a lot like the music industry has had to go through with the inception of iTunes and iPods. i like carrying around my iPod, but i like also having the physical cds in hand in case something were to happen to my computer or my iPod. I would probably feel the same way about digital books, but i just have not made that transition yet. There is just something about having the physical product in your hands that gives people comfort.

  36. Anne-Conner Dickerson says:

    Fiction books I believe will never stop selling paperback copies because distractions of the web. Advertisements can be the cause of someone not being able to keep concentrated to a novel. My laptop has so many amenities that if I am trying to do one thing, I end up doing four things at the same time.
    However I feel although textbooks and newspapers will eventually evolve into majority digital copies. College students spend most of their time connected to some form of technology being computer, cell phone, ipod, so switching to online books will only be more convenient to those students. And for newspapers, today people are always in a hurry so people want to look up one current event happening not have to flip through the oversized pages of a newspaper to find a story of interest. Online a person can just type specifically what they are looking for into a search engine and bam it is there.
    The ultimate result is the world is getting lazier so any excuse to have what they want when they want it at anytime will be what the people invest in.

  37. Caroline Hendershot says:

    As much as I hate to admit it, I personally believe that eventually, one day, hard copies of books will be replaced with electronic copies. Although, I myself prefer the actual copy of a book over a digital copy the generation behind us is being raised through a completely digital world. Most math and language programs are now taught using computer programs, and eventually all other subjects will be as well. Now that almost every kind of information we could possibly need is being offered through some sort of an electronic device the need for hard copy textbooks and books will become obsolete over time. If technology continues to advance with the rapid rate that we see today the use of many more things in our society that have been using for years and years will soon also start to diminish. These kinds of changes are becoming unavoidable due to the constant demand for something bigger, something newer, and something better to accommodate our hectic lifestyles.

  38. Alexa Evans says:

    I do not see the kindle or the ipad replacing a book, people like the connection of a book too much. You can write in a book and look at it later and always remember what you were doing then, or pass it down to someone else and some people like that. Yes I agree that these new devices are evolving the world of reading, but it won’t completely be lost. In the article it also talks about how the ipad makes reading “green”, although that is true, I don’t think that is why people buy them. The world is so entangled with new technology and toys, they could probably care less as to many trees they are saving while downloading the new best seller to their kindle. Books have lasted this long, and although times are changing and they may not be as popular in the future, im pretty sure they can make it.

  39. Anna Katherine Coulston says:

    I think kindles and other equivalents are an amazing invention, that I would take over an iphone any day. I think they have the potential to increase how much people read and also make it more informative by being able to have links in the books themselves. Of course paper books will always exist, but our technology loving world will move on to bigger and better things and I think that paper books will become a last resort for the books you can’t find online.

  40. Gloria Briggs says:

    I think that the idea of books becoming extinct is silly. For me personally I love to have the book and be able to keep it as a keepsake of what it made me feel when I read it. I would much rather lay down in bed with a book then sit on my lap top and stare at the screen to read the same lines. I do believe though that some sort of books will do better on-line like he mentioned in his article. People enjoy reading things on the go such as short stories, horoscopes, and poems and I believe that they will be successful on gadgets.

  41. K. Nicole Miller says:

    I found this article very interesting! In my opinion I think that the future holds a ton of technology for us. Every year more and more “must have” technology comes out. This also makes me feel more stupid each year because personally I would much rather read an actual book then pixels on a screen. I believe books will always be in the picture but I feel like kindles will become very popular. I could also see schools having kindles instead of textbooks in the future. I sure hope this doesn’t happen, but I wouldn’t doubt it.

  42. Quanterrius Ward says:

    I don’t care about the form of the reading material, I just love reading. It’s the only real pleasure in this world. For a while now, I’ve been heavily opposed to modern technology (that is, technology from 2005 onwards) because it has served no practical purpose, but the possibility of digital books has made me reassess that position. I say that the advent of digital books can’t come soon enough. From an objective viewpoint, the advantages of digital reading, both practical and financial, outweigh any nostalgic sentiments I may have.

    Firstly, if reading was to go almost completely digital, it would be great for aspiring novelists like myself. We would be able to distribute our work without the aid of publishers, most of whom would reject us. Also, digital reading could inspire a new culture of readers. People would be able to find and purchase a variety of books quickly and conveniently and soon carry around their own personal library. Finally, because of the saving of ink and paper, the cost of books would dramatically decrease. Imagine a day when college students can purchase all their textbooks for next to nothing. And for those who have misgivings about books going digital for fear of network crashes, it’s not like your paper books can’t be stolen, burned, or ruined in water. Murphy’s law applies to everything. Of course if digital reading does become the standard, paper bound books won’t completely disappear, but they’ll mostly be owned by rich cultural elitists.

  43. Eric Levine says:

    It’s inevitable, the future of books is in the hands of technology. This generation will be reading ink on pixels of a screen. Paperbacks, hard covers, and paper in general were the basis or start of writings but now it’s too simple to transfer those into simpler technology. I can download almost any book on my wallet-size iPod which allows me to carry countless books within my pocket. There are too many ways to read print, technology is moving at a rate that is too advanced for average books. Like The Economist mentioned, Google, Wikipedia, Amazon, and other internet sites make ink on paper seem so out of date and basic.
    Personally, I will remain borderline between the two. I’ll read any free or cheap that comes my way or catches my attention. Online is more convenient for me but I just don’t get the same vibe, feeling or connection when reading via technology. I grew up reading books much like most people around today and I like the old-fashion way. I try to be a simple, up-to-date man so I’m going to keep up the balance between what I’ve been doing and what’s developing. In the end, you can’t take away the relationship I’ve grown with physical books but if they can’t keep up with today’s ever-changing world then in due time, paper will be like Dr. Husni’s weight a few years ago. GONE!

  44. Eric Levine says:

    It’s inevitable, the future of books is in the hands of technology. This generation will be reading ink on pixels of a screen. Paperbacks, hard covers, and paper in general were the basis or start of writings but now it’s too simple to transfer those into simpler technology. I can download almost any book on my wallet-size iPod which allows me to carry countless books within my pocket. There are too many ways to read print, technology is moving at a rate that is too advanced for average books. Like The Economist mentioned, Google, Wikipedia, Amazon, and other internet sites make ink on paper seem so out of date and basic.
    Personally, I will remain borderline between the two. I’ll read any free or cheap that comes my way or catches my attention. Online is more convenient for me but I just don’t get the same vibe, feeling or connection when reading via technology. I grew up reading books much like most people around today and I like the old-fashion way. I try to be a simple, up-to-date man so I’m going to keep up the balance between what I’ve been doing and what’s developing. In the end, you can’t take away the relationship I’ve grown with physical books but if they can’t keep up with today’s ever-changing world then in due time, paper will be like Dr. Husni’s weight a few years ago. LOST!

  45. Alexandria Joy says:

    When I was thirteen I wrote my first book. I would have been made fun of if I had gone through and published it when I was that young because of how immature my writing was. Last year I read over 180 books and I can honestly say that reading makes you a better writer. You see how you can twist your story in many ways by learning from other authors and their works. I am still re-writing that same book and working on a few others and I can tell now I have finally developed my own style just from how much reading I do per year.

    With this said I would like to announce I can easily spend over a hundred dollars in Barnes and Noble every visit and I use my club card at Books-a-Million more than anyone in Biloxi, MS. Although I do have an Amazon Kindle I feel like a traitor to the paper world. I’ve purchased a few books but I haven’t been able to fully “convert” to digital. I don’t want to. I like the feeling of holding a story in my hand and racing through the pages to find out, “who the killer is”. I believe as long as there are people like me in the world the e-reader could never really, “take over”. The e-reader is extremely convenient in its way though. If I don’t feel like driving to the nearest bookstore that has the novel I am in desperate need for, believe me, sometimes getting the last book in a trilogy is a life or death situation, then I can easily purchase is on my Kindle, usually a few dollars cheaper and have it sent to me in less than thirty seconds. This does not mean I don’t buy it again next time I can get a hardback copy. Remember, I still like the feel of the pages. I want to become a published author and I don’t think the e-reader can hurt me but the internet can. We can now do anything on the internet and it’s so easy to read a book for free, I’ve done it. The internet can’t advertise my works as much as a bookstore or the New York Times bestseller list. I don’t want it to be easy for me to publish my writings. I want to get denied over and over again until someone believes in me enough to put MY adventure in print. THAT means something.

    But I am not the problem seeing as I am the avid reader here who loves books…most people aren’t like me. They don’t read and they don’t want to spend twenty dollars and “waste” a few hours of their life flipping through an adventure and learning something. My own sister gets impatient in the bookstore with me and has to go find a magazine with Justin Bieber on the front to last her the hour we spend in there. For her, the internet is the way to go. She can read a quick book without having to spend money or leave the house. People like her are the ones I am worried about. I don’t want to ever imagine a world without a book section in Wal Mart, which I went to the other day and realized I have every one stocked, I must be stopped.

    All in all for my generation I don’t think books are going anywhere in my lifetime and I will always have my bookshelves in my house and I plan to own a library in my house when I win my first Pulitzer.

  46. Stephanie Wales says:

    I sincerely hope that e-readers NEVER override books. Whenever some new advance occurs I often think about how it effects them the elderly and educators. I can not imagine an 70 year old or older person sitting down with their cup of coffee and their e-reader (provided they know what it is and how to use it). Some still have issues with using a cell phone and computer! I want to teach someday and I will be highly upset if I cannot go on with my lecture because the system has crashed and my students can’t open their e-readers to complete their assignments. I think it is a pretty decent idea, but with people MUST realize that technology is suppose to make things easier and simpler; however, it is not always easy to use and it is most definitley not always reliable.

  47. Sarah Harden says:

    I honestly believe that one day E-books and digitized books will replace all hardback and paperback books, but I don’t believe it will be because no one will want printed versions, but because the demand for the electronic and online type will eventually override the demand for printed versions, and companies who print books will lose money. The printed versions will still be available, because for my generation at least, they will always be around. They just won’t be as in demand, much like DVD’s and VHS tapes. Less than ten years ago, you could still find the same movie on both the DVD and VHS format, but today, the only places to find VHS tapes are EBAY and garage sales. Many are most likely considered worthless and just thrown away. I believe in the distant future, printed books will suffer the same fate. But while my generation is still living, there will always be printed books, because much the same way some of our parents would rather pay to have a newspaper in their hands than to go online and read the same articles for free, we have grown up reading printed versions. As you said, there is just something about having it in your hands that will always attract people.

  48. Patricia Wiseman says:

    Throughout history, technology has constantly improved in so many ways—both positive and negative. One of the many ways that technology has played a major role in is publication. In years past, students gained information and knowledge from old-fashioned books; nowadays, visits to the libraries have declined due to the Internet containing the information that’s needed and the birth of i-Pads, e-Books, etc. The demand for electronic books have increased tremendously that perhaps in the near future, the quantity of books sold will no longer exist. However, I don’t believe that books will completely disappear from the face of the earth; instead, people will want to keep them as collectors’ items, like VHS videos and cassettes.
    Personally, I have never read an e-Book or from an i-Pad, nor do I even care. As much as technology has improved, I don’t think it should take over my life. I could purchase an old-fashioned book at a much cheaper price than read it from an e-Book and still enjoy it.

  49. Christy Greer says:

    When I read a book, I want the tangible thing in my hand, it is part of the experience. I like to curl up in a quite place and be absorbed in the book without anything distractions or while I’m studying I like to make notes in the margins or highlight. Even though the e-readers provide some sort of underline method, it doesn’t feel right. But I do think e-books will be extremely popular with my generation, but I don’t think books will every go into extinction. Books are a type of art that can never be replaced by a computer screen. Even though we are a technological generation, you can never replace the tangible book in your hand and the experience it brings.

  50. Kells Johnson says:

    Books should be kept on paper instead of being morphed onto the web. I do not like the whole idea of online books, the ipad-it is all too electronic for me. I feel that works such as non fiction atories and haiku are fine, but converting fine literature such as the encyclopedia and the dictionary online is changing a little too much. It almost seems as if technology is trying to wipe out all other forms of communication and resource. There is nothing wrong with the internet because it is a good source of communication(in some cases) and a good way of finding answers to problems, but I feel that it is taking over our world of media.

  51. James Borkey says:

    The idea of digital books is a very good one. For example, a friend of mine has severe dyslexia. She has all of her textbooks for school loaded on her kindle. The kindle will read passages for her, so she can process the material through audio rather than having to read it. So the innovation of e-books, if you will, is a very positive one. On the flip side, I do not read often. When I do read a book, I store it on a certian shelf in my house. Having the hard copy books gives me a since of accomplishment. Even though the electronic book idea is a very good one, it will never over take hard covered books.

  52. Betsy Lynch says:

    “Books are souvenirs of the way we felt”- I believe that this is the reason books and tangible literature will continue to exist. Yes, reading online may be quicker, cheaper, and more accessible, but reading an actual book is something that cannot be replaced. There is something special about knowing you are actually holding valuable information, someone’s wise opinion or nonsensible thoughts, or words of an old friend. It’s a feeling like none other to pick up a book and know that you were not the first to flip through its pages, to smell its binding, and realize that you are one of a long line thirsting for knowledge and finding it between the pages of chapters waiting to be read. Books are souvenirs that can be placed on a shelf, reminding us as we pass of what there is yet to learn, stories yet to be told, and feelings yet to be shared- knowledge for change, stories for laughter, and feelings for love.

  53. Houston Brock says:

    Why the fuss? Everyone seems to get extremely worked up over this “digitising” of books. If someone wants to get a paper version of a book, or the “tangible” thing then get it. Just because they’re digitising some book doesn’t mean it cannot be gotten on paper… PRINT IT OUT!

  54. Mary Katherine Kitchings says:

    I agree that more and more people are reading books through electronic devices like the Kindle and Ipad. However, there are still many readers who enjoy a book in their hands with actual paper pages to turn rather than tapping a button on a screen to view the next page of a novel. I think that whether a reader prefers digital books or actual books depends on their age, because older readers are used to reading paper books and they want to continue old habits. The younger readers are more accustomed to the new forms of technology and crave the next hottest item. As more generations become dependent on technology, the paper books may die out in the end due to their old fans doing the same.

  55. Ryanne Flanders says:

    I do not think actual books will be replaced by eBooks. A) eBooks are annoying and a hassle. B) Books hold an emotional connection. C) You can’t show off your Kindle collection and have people awe at how smart you are.

  56. Sealy Smith says:

    I refuse to believe that actual paper books are dying. I mean I completely understand that the media train has taken full flight, and believe me, I had my ticket for it along, long time ago. Seriously, I love all the new gadgets and me and my brother fight over the ipad all the time, but I do not know what I would do if I could not have my actual paper books. I would die, therefore, they can not die. There has to be a demand for them. I know that I am not the only person to feel this way, and I know that all the people that do think like I do on this subject will keep books alive!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s