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Old 03-19-2008, 02:50 AM   #16
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I think there will be a lot fewer bookstores. We already see them branching off into a lot more things that just books. If I go into B&N, I see games, stationery, and a cafe. I would say roughly 40% of the square footage of that store is not devoted to reading material.
Borders, B&N...etc... are they the Blockbuster Video of this next decade?

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Old 03-19-2008, 07:52 AM   #17
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I don't think so. E-books are always cheaper than paper books. The price is most important factor for every product.
The price is the most important factor for comparable products. Ebooks and paper books are different products. People will continue to pay more for paper books if what they're looking for is paper.

Consumers aren't even aware that you can save a lot of money with ebooks. Even if they were, would they really make the transition? Most people don't read much at all, so why would they invest in an ereader to read one or two books a year? They would also be using inferior technology, since the ebook experience is inferior to the paper book, according to most people (including me).

Ebooks have the caracteristic that you can download them, so you don't have to go to the book store. Is that an advantage or a disadvantage? Many people enjoy bookstores.

Ebooks will gain a lot of momentum, but it seems obvious that they'll never replace real books.
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Old 03-19-2008, 08:04 AM   #18
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Ebooks and paper books are different products. People will continue to pay more for paper books if what they're looking for is paper.
Nobody spend money for ..paper. We all buy books to read text not to touch or smell paper.

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Old 03-19-2008, 09:57 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by brecklundin View Post
Borders, B&N...etc... are they the Blockbuster Video of this next decade?
No... Blockbuster will eventually disappear from the streets, to be replaced by online DVD buying services, and other non-specialty stores that will display specially-packaged DVD sets, to entice buying for the packaging.

The likely future of books is to become primarily bought and sold as e-books, with a smaller proportion being produced as high-quality hardbacks for gifters and aficionados. B&N and Borders' physical stores will probably be in the business of displaying and selling the pretty hardbacks, plus operating as a go-between to allow you to find and buy e-books.
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Old 03-19-2008, 10:02 AM   #20
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Luddite.

TallMomof2 - Spooky, that was the first word that came into my mind when I saw this piece. I agree that ten years is a relatively short time period, but the thought that we will still be pulping-up living organisms in a few year time to produce a medium for transmitting knowledge is absolutely laughable.
The only reason the book industry and their hack spoksmen want to perptuate the status quo is to keep control of the money stream and that's the only reason pbooks will continue to be published longer than is necessary.

Scotty, get beamed-up man - you're a book industry hack living in a parallel universe, inhabited by troglodytes, luddites and greedy businessmen. And as Yogi Berra also said - 'It's Deja Vu all over again.'


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Old 03-19-2008, 10:43 AM   #21
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The same old misconception

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Originally Posted by balok View Post
Ebooks will gain a lot of momentum, but it seems obvious that they'll never replace real books.
For you, that is probably true, but I believe you are forgeting what authors of the similar "will never happen" statements were also forgetting: people also change. Next generations could grow without having our sentiments towards the paper and paper books. For the kids who are now 5, in 10 years the word "book" without a context could mean a file on e-book reader and not a pile of paper.

Btw, it was funny when my daugher has seen a vynil record and asked me what is it.
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Old 03-19-2008, 10:55 AM   #22
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I've remained out of these paper vs. electronic discussions, because I'm profoundly ambivalent. I'm an application developer, but spent almost my entire career in the printing industry. I'm also a published/ing poet, so have issues with copyright and compensation. It's a confusing world.

So here it is: paper is a renewable resource. No, this resource has not been managed properly, and a lot of evil has been brushed under that particular "renewable resource" rug. But changes have been made, and I don't find paper production itself evil. We're talking about books, I know, but what about other art forms that rely on paper production? What about artisanal paper production itself?

Many electronic devices are far more harmful to the environment than paper and ink.

I like both the convenience and the gadget-geekiness of dedicated e-book readers, and the technical aspects of a well-produced book. Trust me, as one who has written thousands of lines of PostScript code to attempt to match the effects of traditional typography, a well-produced book with good quality paper and fine typography adds a layer of pleasure beyond content.

I hope we're moving to a world where responsibly-produced paper books and responsibly-distributed electronic books coincide, and where we still have bookstores to browse, meet, converse about books... and ogle cute lit-chicks.
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Old 03-19-2008, 11:15 AM   #23
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I am very happy with my Cybook and love the convenience of carrying around a ton of books on it. But there are some things I miss.....

When I get a paper book, especially if it is nonfiction, I like leafing through the book, scanning chapters, looking it over. Then when I read the book, I sometimes mark passages that I want to go back to, dwell over, maybe share with someone else.

I recently put an eCookbook on my Cybook. After fiddling around with it, I don't think I'll be buying many eCookbooks.

I also bought an eBible recently. I like the convenience of having the eBible on my Cybook, but the navigation leaves a lot to be desired....The eBible is fine for my personal reading, but I don't see myself using it much when I go to church and have to jump from passage to passage.

Using pbooks (versus ebooks) for these kinds of books is just more enjoyable to me...pbooks are easier to browse, easy to bookmark favorite passages, recipes, etc., and for a recipe book anyway, the color pictures are nicer to view. Of course, as ebook readers and ebooks evolve and as they improve their navigational and bookmarking features, I could change my mind....
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Old 03-19-2008, 11:27 AM   #24
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Taylor514ce - you make some compelling arguments, especially about the cute lit-chicks. This I had not fed into my logic circuits when making my knee-jerk response. This will have to make me seriously reconsider certain aspects of my thinking on this issue.

Seriously, your points about the damage done by electonic devices and the renewability element are well made. I would like to see some in-depth and [relatively] independent studies done on the comparative overall energy usage, environmental damage and things like long term health effects of electronic devices. This may help to give a more balanced view of the arguments and help people to make more rational decisions - although with such an emotive and personal subject I'm not entirely sure this is possible. Plus there always is, as I indicated, the ever-present economic imperative to consider - which always disproportionately skews the argument.

Tommy

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Old 03-19-2008, 11:28 AM   #25
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I think it would be tragic if they stopped making paper books. I hope it never happens.
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Old 03-19-2008, 12:42 PM   #26
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I would like to see some in-depth and [relatively] independent studies done on the comparative overall energy usage, environmental damage and things like long term health effects of electronic devices.
There have been similar discussions on the subject elsewhere on this site... here, for instance.

The gist of the subject is that, although paper is a renewable resource, an e-book reader can potentially replace hundreds, even thousands of paper books, and so achieves an economy of scale that paper production will never match.
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Old 03-19-2008, 12:46 PM   #27
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I am old enough to remember when Television first became popular, after WWII. Newspapers were doomed because we could get the news faster on the TV. Movies were doomed because TV was free. Magazines were doomed because we were all mesmerized by Ed Sullivan. And books were also doomed because everyone was staring at the "idiot box". Anybody out there even notice that none of these things happened? I have heard of the utopian prediction that we would all be downloading our newspapers to an e-ink device by now. I am not saying this will not happen. I am saying that predictions rarely come true, but something will happen, just not that which we expected.
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Old 03-19-2008, 01:02 PM   #28
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I also bought an eBible recently. I like the convenience of having the eBible on my Cybook, but the navigation leaves a lot to be desired....The eBible is fine for my personal reading, but I don't see myself using it much when I go to church and have to jump from passage to passage.
I agree 100%,It would take hardware and software changes to make a ebible more user friendly.
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Old 03-19-2008, 01:17 PM   #29
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Movies were doomed because TV was free. Magazines were doomed because we were all mesmerized by Ed Sullivan. And books were also doomed because everyone was staring at the "idiot box".
My favorite slogan from back then: "Movies are still your best entertainment!"
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Old 03-19-2008, 01:42 PM   #30
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There have been similar discussions on the subject elsewhere on this site... here, for instance.

The gist of the subject is that, although paper is a renewable resource, an e-book reader can potentially replace hundreds, even thousands of paper books, and so achieves an economy of scale that paper production will never match.

Steve, many thanks - that sounds very interesting.

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