View Single Post
Old 07-18-2010, 06:12 PM   #14
Elfwreck
Grand Sorcerer
Elfwreck ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Elfwreck ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Elfwreck ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Elfwreck ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Elfwreck ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Elfwreck ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Elfwreck ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Elfwreck ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Elfwreck ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Elfwreck ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Elfwreck ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Elfwreck's Avatar
 
Posts: 5,140
Karma: 24387938
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: SF Bay Area, California, USA
Device: Clié; PRS-505; EZR Pocket Pro, PRS-600, Kobo Mini
I expect ebooks will eventually eliminate the mass-market paperback, and make trade paperbacks a novelty item. However, new hardcovers (even for leisure reading) will stick around for a long time, and art books & reference books will continue to be printed with no notable changes in their industries. (By "reference books," I don't mean encyclopedia, which are being challenged by internet info speeds. I mean auto manuals, knitting pattern books, game instructions, camping guidebooks--things to be used away from the computer.)

Educational books are a special niche that's facing its own problems--for a long time, publishers could count on releasing a new edition every few years to force students to buy the new version instead of the old one; the students were always looking for a way around that. Now, cheap scanners are providing it, and that industry is going to need some rethinking if it's going to survive.

Children's books will continue. Especially the ones with tactile aspects--the Hungry Caterpillar and Pat the Bunny aren't going to be digitized. And even if we get cheap, sturdy electronics for young children, some aspects of physical books will stay important. Like playing peek-a-boo, they need to learn that if you turn away from the page, and turn back, the same content will be there. (That this isn't always the case for ebooks doesn't matter. They don't have any problem learning that if you change the TV channel & turn it back, it's showing something different.) They need letters they can trace with their fingers, which only some ebook readers can provide. They need permission to draw, write & color in some books. Kids' books aren't going away, no matter how advanced our digital tech gets. (Well. For the next hundred years or so. Maybe they'll eventually learn to write with a stylus on a screen, but we've got a *long* way before that's anywhere near universal.)

And books will continue to be printed for people who don't have computers, who aren't connected online... which is, at this point, the majority of the planet. Ebooks may become like cars--"everyone" uses them, for values of "everyone" that mean "most citizens of first-world countries."
Elfwreck is offline   Reply With Quote