the demise of the book

Books and libraries a thing of the past?

There are many things that the internet is killing off.

I may go through a big list soon, because it is something I am fascinated with. So much that has been around for what feels like forever is now on borrowed time.  The vinyl record (I know there’s still a market there for it now, but it’s not common like it used to be) was replaced by the CD, which fell to the MP3 player, which fell to the smartphone.

One thing of note is that the cycle of things becoming obsolete appears to be shortening. The CD has been with us for 30 years maybe? Not much more  than that, surely.

One of the big things that the internet is killing off bit by bit is the book

I heard talk on the radio today about how a school in South Australia is looking at creating a virtual library for its’ students. This obviously is not new. Other learning institutions have been using this for a while, but always in conjunction with a bricks and mortar library.

The obvious question to be asked about this is how long before there is ONLY a virtual library at most schools and no real books and no library building?

We have seen the demise of book stores.

Amazon has been great for that. Discount books delivered worldwide at a lower cost than book stores who have all the store costs to pay before they can turn a profit.

We are also seeing the rise of ebook readers such as the Kindle.

These devices are great (I guess) if you want the convenience of being able to carry an 8,000 book library with you wherever you go. But how do you feel about reading an actual novel on a device? Is it just what people do now?

Is there no place any more for the tactile sensation of the pages of a book? Do I feel more comfortable with an actual book just because they are what I grew up with?

The technology we have today changes many things.  The book is one of them.

What do you think? Do you care that physical books made of paper may go the way of so much, due to the internet?

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