How Will Printed Books In The Digital Age Be In The Future.


Although the future of printed books appears threatened, some precedents in other forms of media may indicate a favorable future for printed books. For example, when the cable station MTV was started and the band the Buggles claimed in a song that: “Video Killed the Radio Star,” it was widely believed that combining music with video would mean the demise of radio. Of course, we know that more than three decades after MTV was founded, radio stations still exist and are prevalent throughout our society. It is easy to see the comparison to books, in that a new way of reading books would do away with the old, but that has not happened with music, and it may not happen with printed books.

The caveat is that radio has had to make some adjustments and embrace technological advancements in order to survive. There is satellite radio and other new forms of the radio medium that have helped keep it relevant in our society. Traditional radio does not appeal to everybody, but it appeals to a large enough audience to stick around, much like printed books. However, just like radio has had to make changes, printed books may also need to make changes in order retain a large enough audience to stay relevant in our society.

Conversely, if we compare printed books to the medium in which contemporary consumers purchase movies; it does not bode well for their future. Less than 20 years ago, the medium of VHS was the primary method of viewing movies at home. However, the creation of the DVD format, followed by the creation of the Blu-Ray format has made the VHS format all but extinct. It only took a matter of years for DVD’s to become the primary viewing format for movies, and now new movies are no longer released on VHS, making that format irrelevant, and the same fate could theoretically be possible for printed books.



This is not a perfect analogy as there are obvious upgrades in quality from VHS to DVD while the content of books are the exact same whether they are read in their printed or electronic version. However, there are clear advantages in practicality and convenience for electronic versions of books compared to printed versions of the same books, and it should at least be considered a possibility that those advantages will push more people away from printed books and towards electronic books. For nstance, in creative writing, creative writers online are finding it easy to deliver handle there output in eletronic form than printed media. Though, there are complains in lack of taste and naturality.

Perhaps the biggest threat to printed books being eliminated by electronic books may not be the advances in technology, but time. People who are traditionalists and those that are a part of older generations are more likely to prefer printed books. This is because they are far more resistant to new forms of technology. However, younger generations are far more comfortable with electronic reading devices, and in some cases, they are using them more frequently as compared to printed books. At a certain point, it would be possible for a generation to come along with so little exposure to printed books that they become irrelevant to that generation and all generations to follow. While the day when that is a possibility seems to be a far way off, it is not impossible to imagine.

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