What is the future of the physical book?

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Carter
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What is the future of the physical book?

Post by Carter » Wed Jan 22, 2014 9:46 am

I'm sure this has been debated here on The Collector, but I'd like to put the question to the forum quite simply:

In your opinion, what is the future of the physical book?

This is of course, in relation to digital books. You may touch on the dreaded 'print on demand' book also.

Interested in this forum communities thoughts and opinions.



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Re: What is the future of the physical book?

Post by jhanic » Wed Jan 22, 2014 12:11 pm

I think the physical book still will be around for a long time, but will not be as prevalent as it is today. There will always be people like me that just don't like reading off a screen, for whatever reason.

John

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Re: What is the future of the physical book?

Post by Carter » Wed Jan 22, 2014 12:56 pm

I think 'Off The Grid Books' (I've just invented that phrase) have a long future as well. A well made book, is a thing of beauty.

And, remember what Keats said: A thing of beauty is a joy forever.

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Re: What is the future of the physical book?

Post by jimimck » Wed Jan 22, 2014 5:09 pm

Agree there will always be books. Now I'm sure in the future the quantity of them may start to dwindle, but I think there will always be a part of the population that want books, wether standard paperbacks, through to collectable high end hardbacks etc.

Take vinyl records for instance. While not released for every new album that comes out, there are still many artists that release albums on vinyl today. The music market is full of collectors that like the packaging/sound/booklets etc that come with vinyl, and so some artists recognise that and issue them new. I've found that often when you buy the vinyl, it comes with a link and code to down load the digital version of the album too. I think that would be cool for books, whe you buy the actual hardback, and get the ebook for free too.

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Re: What is the future of the physical book?

Post by Mr. Rabbit Trick » Wed Jan 22, 2014 11:49 pm

Electronic books will take over from paperback books, but hardbacks and limited editions will be available for ever.

You can still buy some music on vinyl.

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Re: What is the future of the physical book?

Post by TheCollector » Thu Jan 23, 2014 8:21 am

Sure if you use vinyl as an example it's still around, but I doubt the 8 track or walkman are coming back.

I think we have a little bias here because we're all old enough to have grown up with paper books ONLY and the whole e-reader thing is a paradigm adjustment.

- My kids however, will grow up where physical books will probably still be dominant, but in school likely start to be phased out in multiple classes.

- By the time HIS kids are in school I bet the vast majority of books will be digital with a minority being paper.

- Three generations from now? Well I don't know. We may be down to just limited edition books with specialty binderies still making paper books.

- 4 generations form now? - We'll be building colonies on Mars or the moon and paper & paper books are going to be as scarce as Roland described in The Drawing of the Three

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Re: What is the future of the physical book?

Post by Carter » Thu Jan 23, 2014 8:44 am

Pretty scary stuff when you really think about it.

Vinyl, 8tracks, cassettes, have been around for only the last 100 years. But, books are as old as recorded history. Books were never, nor should ever be, a flash in he pan like other technology; books have permanence.

Nor do I particularly like the idea of putting technology between man and knowledge.

In the past you have man-knowledge (book)... nothing in between. In the future, you may have man-digital reader (or any electronic medium)-knowledge. Now you've put something between man and knowledge. It may seem trivial at first glance, but if you think about it, it could be dangerous. What if a man cannot afford the technology? What if someone else controls his access to technology? What if the battery dies?

No sir... I don't like it, and not for old fashion reasons. What are we trading for convenience? is it more than we bargain for?

-Joe

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Re: What is the future of the physical book?

Post by Carter » Thu Jan 23, 2014 12:28 pm

Another thought-

I can browse a person's physical library, take down a book that catches my eye, thumb through it, read a few lines, feel it's heft; I'll know how much time and effort I'll need to invest by the typeset and weight. Through this process, I may stumble upon a subject I've never explored before.

How can this be done with a digital library?
Last edited by Carter on Thu Jan 23, 2014 5:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What is the future of the physical book?

Post by jimimck » Thu Jan 23, 2014 4:38 pm

Regarding your comment about a physical bookcase etc, its true that even for my normal books (non-collectable) I like seeing them lined up on cases etc. you can flick through, quickly read synopsis etc.

I think this is why I spend too much time on my iPad making sure each ebook I have has the right cover art and I order them all nicely on the library page that shows them all, and never use the option where you only see the name/author of the book. I like the virtual book case feel as it reminds me of my nice actual book cases.

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