Alexander Field over at his “The Mystery & The Magic” blog, didn’t tag anyone, but I feel tagged.
He just wrote a blog post on “How Will We Read?“, and it got me thinking about physical, printed books vs. the new era of digital books.
As much of a digital, technology centered person that I am, I don’t think I will ever think it a good thing if books go 100% digital.
There is something unique about each printed book. The creativeness of the artist and publisher stands out. The size of the book, the glossy feel. There is a thrill as I hold a new book in my hand and first bend its cover to reveal the mysteries within.
And I can tell the books that I love just by looking at my bookshelf.
Its edges are worn to the point the cover may fall off soon, and its front is bent and tattered—and yet I love it more for all that!
(And to prove that the digital era is upon us, here’s the free online version of Desiring God!)
And I don’t like the idea of being 100% dependent on technology to read books.
Dropping the thing.
Buying a new e-reader every few years.
But I know the digital-only era will come. The economics will settle it. The “save the trees” will settle it. The simplicity will settle it. The convenience will settle it.
Change is upon us. Book printers will go out of business. Publishers will morph. Alas, don’t the libraries know that by cooperating with Google to digitize their books that they will all become extinct one day? They feed the digital beast, and it will eat them.
And there’s the rub. We witness before us the end of an era, and though we may always be able to get a printed book, it will eventually become so rare we will think it antique, quaint, backward. Our descendants will think us odd that we wist for the days of “real” books. To them, a printed book will feel like a horse and buggy.
Well this is one person who’s going to hold onto his buggy for awhile.