This morning I read an article from the BBC predicting the potential demise of printed books as we now know them. At least one out of every two readers in the United States and Great Britain now uses some form of electronic apparatus. Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Apple have proven to be immensely popular with their tablets but the question becomes whether or not we as a society will eventually abandon the physical book in favor of a slim, light weight implement that stores a multitude of titles. Some futurists believe that in fifty to one hundred years the printed book will be as obsolete as buggy whips. They insist that books as we know them will become historical artifacts and the work of artisans. In other words they will be collectables or objects of art.
I’m not so certain that these ideas will come to pass, but then I am older and of a different era. Who knew that wristwatches would become more like jewelry than ways to tell time? How could we have guessed that the art of letter writing would seem as quaint as it now does? Our world is constantly changing and just as the printing press revolutionized education and literacy, so too may electronic texts one day be viewed as commonplace. Some argue that already they provide a more economic way to bring information to students than purchasing hundreds of textbooks that must be stored and which often become outdated even before they are replaced. Continue reading “Electronic Bookstores”