Monday, August 16, 2010

(empo-tymshft) Books for the haves and the have-nots?

On August 11, I wrote a post in my Empoprise-MU music blog that discussed something called a "record." If you have no idea what a record has to do with music, read the post.

Obviously, the music industry isn't the only one that is dealing with product obsolescence. It may be that a future generation may not know what a "book" is. Or, perhaps Brad McCarty will be right and books will remain. McCarty offered the following prediction:

The saviors of paper and ink publishing will come in two forms: the purists and the poorest.

Now I'm not sure how many true purists there are, but there are certainly poorest - and even if you don't look at the people who can't afford a Kindle or other reading device, you need to look at the people who can't or won't use reading hardware in certain instances.

Devin Coldewey makes another point when noting who actually buys books, or e-books, or whatever:

[T]he buying generations right now were raised on books, and although younger people are adopting e-books and iPads like nobody’s business, a huge amount of spending is done by demographics who still aren’t sure what an iPad is. Rely on it: “old-fashioned” isn’t just a kind of donut, it’s a market hundreds of millions strong, with far more disposable income than hip young bloggers and early adopters. Comfort and willful ignorance may be the enemies of progress, but you ignore them at your peril.

In the same way that a pencil offers some definite advantages over my new netbook (odd term, isn't it?), a real book offers some definite advantages over the new reading media. Until writers create things that cannot be reproduced in a traditional book, it's premature to announce the death of the book.
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