The Death of the Printed Book?

This article was first published on the 12th of September, 2015 and last updated on the 27th of April, 2016 by Patrick Carpen.

If you are a baby boomer, or if you went to school before the age of the internet and the rise of the Personal Computer, then chances are, you’re very familiar with the good old printed book.

There is nothing like holding it in your hands, savoring its precious content and turning each page as you come to the last line. There is something “classic” about reading a printed book. And for many of us, it is a privilege we wouldn’t trade for all the world of digital data.

But rising trends are indicating that the printed book may very well be an “endangered species”. Sales of electronic books are booming. And they are fast outnumbering printed books. On top of that, people seem to be preferring the electronic book to the printed book more and more by the minute.

Why go all the way to the library or the bookstore when you could download and read with a few clicks of the mouse, or a few pushes of the buttons on your smart phone? Nostalgia? Sentimentalism? This may very well be the case. Easy on the eyes there!

Recent reports have indicated that electronic books are skyrocketing on the charts and printed books and steadily falling. But writer, researcher and marketing expert Patrick Carpen has a controversial view on the whole matter. According to him, the printed book isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

The electronic book offers speed, style, comfort and very low cost at the same time. On top of that, it’s easy to save, copy and not easily lost! The electronic book also helps save our forests and reduces greenhouse gases. When you add all that to the boom of the Kindle electronic book reading device, one would wonder how on earth the printed book could stand a chance of survival.

The truth is, the printed book will eventually be phased out. But not for the next century or so. And even after that, it stands a chance of coming back all over again. That is because printed technology is becoming easier and easier by the day as well. It is become more enhanced and cheaper. This enables us to produce much higher quality paper books at reduced prices.

Besides, our children will attest to the fact, by the smile on their faces and the lighting up of their eyes, that there is nothing like holding a printed book in your hands, filling your eyes with its beautiful words and pictures, and gently turning each paper with your fingers.

While the electronic book offers all the practical and economic solutions, somehow, it just can’t “stand up” to the physical and tangible qualities of the printed book.

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