Originally Posted by BWinmill
I kinda see what you're getting to, but kinda don't. What you said about TV vs. radio vs. book is certainly true, though I get the impression that they weren't seen as true back in the day. (I'm old enough to see the parallels with computers though, but computers are different in that they support text and audio and video quite well from the early 1990s onward. On the otherhand, I am too young to have been around for the introduction of TV -- nevermind radio!)
For some reason though, I see that technological distinction as quite small. However, I see the difference between media that is directly interpreted by human senses (such as books) and reliant upon electronic devices (such as ebooks) as being quite large.
I agree with the words on the page concept and I far prefer ebooks.
But while we no longer have stone tablets and scrolls, books are much more prolific and widely used.
To give a few possibly flawed analogies of my own:
radio and LPs and tape recorders and DVDs did not totally replace big bands, small bands and theatres and other live performances and some have been around for a while. VHS tapes and Betamax are pretty well obsolete, but are still in existence as are 8 track tape decks. And many die hard collectors insist that LP is the best medium.
DVDs of movies seem almost as popular as ever although I am sure they are not quite. Many people like the nice cases and get a feeling of ownership that they will never have from a downloaded movie stored on their hard drive or on a DVD they have to burn yourself. I transferred some of my sisters collection of DVD's and VHS to avi files on a hard drive at her request. She still goes and gets the shiny DVD or tape of the shelf.
Paper books are far more prolific than movies and possibly more prolific than recorded songs. Most people have been learning to read for centuries and a lot of them read paper books. Habits have been built.
Perhaps more importantly paper books satisfy that collector instinct that is inherent in most of us and the need of many to view and display our collections where ebooks never will. Many who prefer reading electronically still buy the paper books, just as collectors of Beanie Babies and Barbie Dolls rarely play with them.
I have given up collecting almost everything and am glad that I did as I might have been heading for bagladyism, but it wasn't easy.
Still for people who read that 2-20 books a year, it is a fairly cheap way of satisfying the collecting instinct, while possibly making one look erudite at the same time.
I can't see paper books being even as obsolete as VHS or 8 track tapes unless we all get holodecks, and then many of those holodecks will have holodeck paper books and Model T Fords