Thursday, June 7, 2012

The End of Books?


Christopher W. Earl said...

Another great episode. Personally, I don't consider format much of a concern. That is, it's important to have a profitable way to deliver content to the consumer, but (in the case of books) it really doesn't otherwise matter how it's delivered. If the writer can profit by having their words read by many people via movable type, then success.

I gave the matter of books careful consideration over the past year and discovered that I valued my paper books only as trophies; I could glance at my shelves and see all that I had read (and, by the way, so could all my guests). Plus, I had become burdened with hundreds of pounds of this stuff. I dread every move to a new home and another is only something like a year away. So, I decided to go over to the e-book. I'm glad I did. (That is not to say I won't read a book if it's only available on paper.)

I do otherwise agree that the report of the book's death is an exaggeration. The music industry is a great example: the LP remains though it has been reported dead multiple times - even while the purchase of digital music for instant download over the internet is so convenient.

Whenever content changes formats there is a panic, but we soon learn that it was no big deal.

Jeff Taylor said...

With all due respect to your guest David, he's wrong when he claims that books are going to be around for a long time to come - he quoted 50 more years - wrong I'm afraid. Dead wrong. All my life, I collected records (and later CD's when they replaced records). I loved opening a record (and later a CD) and reading the liner notes as I played the record. Now, today in Vancouver, it's nearly IMPOSSIBLE for me to buy a physical CD. Gone are all A&B, Sam The Record Man, A&A, Virgin, HMV, even the Bay, and Sears music departments, and even Best Buy and Future Shop basically no longer carry CD's. Now, almost every other month there's an announcement of yet another book store closing somewhere in BC - even in the big cities such as Vancouver. Just like records/CD's, if there's no stores for people to easily go in and purchase a book, they will, just like me with my music, have little or no choice to turn to digital forms of their entertainment. I can clearly remember back when people said CD's would never be replaced by digital downloads. For those that don't believe that books will not go the same way as music did, see my list of closed music stores above.