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Books: The Next Endangered Species?

Headlight staff member Davis Gold ponders the 'what if' behind the new upsurge in digital tablets, the book programs that come with them and the idea of never feeling a paper book in your hand again.

The following was written by Davis Gold:

The age which we live in now is all about modernizing everything we have. Cars can now run on electricity, homes are solar powered and books are going extinct.  No, not literature, but physical books.

Ever since Amazon came out with the kindle, people have shifted from the printed word to ebooks, or electronic books. And why not? A Kindle or an iPad can store hundreds of texts making it much more convenient to carry around one lightweight tablet than a couple heavy novels.

Also, information can travel so quickly across the internet that instead of taking a walk or drive to the nearest bookstore, someone can just download a book at home in two minutes.

In a time which being green is important, a paperless copy of War and Peace seems like a perfect choice instead of the more than 1,000 page behemoth. From the publisher’s point of view, having to pay for paper, ink, covers, printing, and shipping for hardcovers is very expensive.

All the reasons to move away from a printed novel seems perfectly logical but there’s something wrong with saying that books are outdated. Having a physical book in your hands and being able to turn a page is much more warm and satisfying then just flicking across a screen.

Also, graphic novels like TinTin have beautiful artwork in them meant to be on paper, not pixels. Nonetheless, many have felt the effect of the Kindle juggernaut. The popular bookstore, Borders, is going out of business and its retail stores are being sold off piece by piece or just shutting down completely. Other bookstores whose outlooks are bleak are preparing for the worst.  

The question is, in the future will there be no paper books? The answer is still unclear but it seems like everyday, books become more of a thing of the past, being pushed over by their electronic substitutes.

Many groups are trying to reignite the paperback economy by holding library and bookstore meetings, having coffee shops installed, or holding writing contests. Other paper sources like snail mail, dictionaries, and newspapers are being posted and sent on the internet rather than being printed because of how fast results can be delivered.

The fate of the book is still undecided, but that copy of Harry Potter on your shelf might be worth a lot more if books become obsolete. 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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