News from Book Expo America: Will Books Appear on Paper in 2050?

June 1, 2009

Books for BookExpo America post
This morning, I opened the Washington Post — I both subscribe and read the newspaper on paper — and read an article about the demise of publishing on paper. At BookExpo America, held in Manhattan, a speaker predicted that books on paper will be a thing of the past.

“If you read a book on paper, you’re going to be definitely stamped as retro,” Mike Shatzkin of Idea Logical Co. said.

One exception will be print-on-demand.

As for manufacturing new ones [books], well, the traditional press run may be facing extinction, but with print-on-demand technology, “pretty much as long as anybody wants a book they’ll be able to have a book.” Mike Shatzkin at BookExpo America, quoted from The Washington Post

Do you recall the days when people turned their noses up at online magazines? Do you remember when people turned their noses up at print-on-demand (POD)? Now POD is the way of the future. Goodbye, press runs! Authors no longer have to worry about selling out of copies. The whole concept of “first edition” goes out the window.

While I can’t imagine curling up with a child and a Kindle to read Good Night Moon for the 53rd time in two days, I can envision people reading books on electronic devices about 90%, or more, of the time.

What about you? Are you reading more online than on paper these days?

Thanks to Chilihead via the Creative Commons license at flickr for the photo.

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