Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Printed Book is here to stay

An interesting piece. I added comments at the end, and I’m not sure I agree, but I do hope that printed books are always around in some way.

My comments:


Interesting thoughts, and well written. This wasn’t what I expected, and I haven’t had the same experience as you, at least not in the same way.

I fly about 15 times a year, about 50k miles for work, and I read a lot. I fly all over the country and to the UK a couple times a year. Over the last 3 years, I’ve seen more and more kindles in use all over, especially on planes. I do see plenty of people reading, primarily older people, but I can’t decide if there’s “more” reading taking place or less. There is a shift to e-readers, but it might just be the people that would normally be reading.

There definitely is a shift to playing more games, and I have to admit that sometimes I get distracted with a Word with Friends game, or something else when I could be reading. Multi-tasking devices tend to do that.

However I read extensively electronically, and love it. I bought a Kindle (gen 1) and used it to get through 100 books in a year. It got destroyed, and I moved to the Kindle app on an iPhone, where I’ve read bout 60-70 books a year. In that time, I’ve also read 10-12 paper books, and the format change doesn’t both me. I like both, but mostly I like the convenience of the iPhone’s large library and the ability to change fonts when I do/don’t wear my glasses. I like being able to read in the dark on a plane. Recently I had 3 paper books on a UK trip, and I read most of them, but it was a hassle to lose the space in my bag. I read parts of a couple more e-books on my phone while in line at customs, waiting at the gates, in taxis, etc. because of the convenience. I have my phone always, and it’s easier to read for 10 minutes on that than pull out a book.

I hope the printed book is always around, for a variety of reasons. However I do think it’s place in the market is diminished over time as costs become more of an issue, and more people can read electronically. I also look forward to the e-book evolving a bit to become more creative. Not necessarily video, but perhaps some more creative uses of the format that make the experience enriched.

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