Despite the dour tone from my last post, I should point out that books aren’t dead. At least, not yet. And they’re not going to be going out of fashion right away, either. If you don’t believe me, just check out what the interwebs has to say on the topic:
A video from Ink Global:
An article from The Guardian
“Despite what you may have heard, reports of the “death of print” have been greatly exaggerated. A survey in April by Deloitte found that 88% of magazine readers in the UK still prefer to consume articles via print.”
A call from one blog to talk about the future:
“This is important, let’s stop talking about the death of the book, and start talking about the life of the book – it’s got an incredible future and I’d like to read about it.”
And this treatise, from a small publishing house, on how books aren’t dying:
“So what’s all this talk about “death”? Especially with more than 200,000 books published every year in the U.S. alone. I think we need to re-examine how we define success.”
What’s my take? Well, I own a Nook and read my fair share of books on it. I like that I can read in bed without disturbing my husband, who has to go to sleep earlier than I do. It doesn’t hurt that my Nook has an awesome R2D2 cover and holds many more books than my bookcases can.
With all that said, I will always love paper books more. I’ve never been able to lose myself in a book read on my Nook. The interface is just too … cold and impersonal. Books are organic and tactile. I can curl up in the most awkward looking positions that are still somehow comfortable and read for hours and hours without stopping. Not so with a Nook. And I can’t read my Nook outside without worrying about it getting damaged or how I’m losing so much battery power because I have to turn the screen brightness up (or how I can’t read it at all in really bright sunlight). So, I really feel books can never die, even if that means they will only end up being read by nostalgic collectors.
However, as a librarian-in-training, I love the access that digital publishing has allowed. I may not ever want to see the end of books, but I must admit that what many have blamed for the “death of books” has really meant the rebirth of information. Never before have so many been able to access so much information. And that’s an exciting truth to realize when I think about how I am entering this field during such an explosion of information.
So are books dead? Definitely not! Are they dying? Not really. I think what is true is that they are merely evolving, just like those that used to safeguard them: Librarians.