Demise of Books

Are books dead, and can authors survive?
At the Edinburgh international book festival this past weekend, Ewan Morrison set out his bleak vision of a publishing industry in terminal decline. The above picture is a shortened version of his prediction.

Last words … the end of professional writing is nigh. Photograph: Sunset/Rex
Ewan Morrison
guardian.co.uk, Mon 22 Aug 2011 17.21 BST
Will books, as we know them, come to an end?
According to Morrison, the answer is an absolute. Morrison predicts that within 25 years, paper books will be obsolete. I certainly hope not. Not so much for my own writing career. At my age, I am not likely to live another five and twenty years, but for the end of a time honored tradition, I would grieve. I once heard Ray Bradbury speak about the smell and the feel of books, and I totally agree with that sentiment. I love my Kindle and my Nook for their convenience, especially when I am on the road, but I still love the feel of a book in my hands. I prefer to see how close I am to finishing another great story. Those percentage marks at the bottom of my Kindle page do not measure up in that respect. Morrison says, “The digital revolution will not emancipate writers or open up a new era of creativity, it will mean that writers offer up their work for next to nothing or for free. Writing, as a profession, will cease to exist.”

For the complete article, visit The Guardian at http://m.guardian.co.uk/ms/p/gnm/op/view.m?id=15&cat=books&gid=%2Fbooks%2F2011%2Faug%2F22%2Fare-books-dead-ewan-morrison&type=article

What is your opinion? Will books go the way of the 8-track?

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6 Responses to Demise of Books

  1. Susan Kaye says:

    And on the other side of this guy’s sandwich board is: “The End Is Near!” Change really shows the internal workings of the human mind.

  2. Susan, I hope that what happens is what we see with iTunes and CDs. Downloading music did not kill the industry. My fear is that the publishing business may be slow to change (the Borders’ effect).

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  5. LaurenG says:

    I disagree!!! I think there will always be a place for paper books. E-books and digital readers are of course practical and appealing to the lovers of technology, but I believe there will always be those of us whose reading experience includes holding the book in the hands. (Besides, it’s not good to use computers or e-readers in bed. How else will I be able to read myself to sleep???) I do believe the digital age will allow (as it is already doing) new authors to get their work out there, which is not a bad thing (especially since I’m one of them!). He is obviously a worse-case-scenario kind of thinker!

    • As a published author, I can say that technology is changing the end product at a break-neck pace. There are so many issues that people have never considered when looking at the availability of the printed page. It is a bit frightening. I have visions of Fahrenheit 451.

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