In the future, will print books only be available at the furniture store?

The question might sound crazy since “the book” has been around for nearly 2,000 years and has held its place on our bedside tables, backpacks and libraries for as long as we remember.  Even so, there may come a day that the print books we have in our house are mostly being used for decorating.

The act of writing – in one form or another – dates back 5,000 years.  Of course the method at the beginning was much different. The form was not that of a book, but of an inscription on stone or clay tablet.  It then slowly changed to papyrus or a parchment page and then onto the form of a book that we recognize. So, couldn’t the e-book be the next form of writing that dominates our day-to-day lives?

What I find interesting is the amount of emotion you find when these questions are raised.  There are people who fell asleep as a child reading books, they studied using books, they love the feel and smell of books, they were a librarian in their past life…they just love books.  Books are comforting to them.  Because of their history with books, the thought of e-books becoming more “popular” is very uncomfortable for them.  I wonder what is so upsetting really. Is it the loss of how it is made or the loss of the writing?  The art of bookmaking may be lost (or lessened), but the content of the book still remains and to the reader, isn’t that what matters most?

I believe that we will always have books because they are so special, but maybe it’s not such a crazy idea, that someday the traditional print book will only be found at your local furniture store; its purpose to decorate your coffee table and well-designed book cases.

Book formats continue to change.  The current e-book format won’t be around in a thousand years.  Men plan and God laughs.

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