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Print Books Away

The following is a reprint from the latest edition of bookhitch.com. It's hard to tell whether it was written tongue in cheek, but I sense a chilling touch of reality to it:

The following is a reprint from the latest edition of bookhitch.com. It's hard to tell whether it was written tongue in cheek, but I sense a chilling touch of reality to it:

The Shelf Life of a Book
Predictions about the meteoric rise of eBooks are usually accompanied by dire forecasts that bemoan the demise of print books. According to the opening paragraph of anEconomist article entitled, "Great Digital Expectations," the industry shift away from traditional books may be reflected in the new design of a bookcase from furniture giant IKEA. Customers could be using IKEA's latest "Billy" bookcase, "increasingly for ornaments, tchotchkes and the odd coffee table tome-anything, that is, except books that are actually read."  Time will tell whether the redesign of a furniture basic is an accurate indicator of a trend, but according to a foray into the future by one blogger, things do look bleak for books.The Future Of Books: A Dystopian Timeline by John BiggsReprinted from TechCrunch blog-9/27/11
2013
-EBook sales surpass all other book sales, even used books. EMagazines begin cutting into paper magazine sales.2014-Publishers begin subsidized e-reader trials. Newspapers, magazines, and book publishers will attempt to create hardware lockins for their wares. They will fail.2015-The death of the Mom and Pops. Smaller book stores will use the real estate to sell coffee and Wi-Fi. Collectable bookstores will still exist in the margins.2016-Lifestyle magazines as well as most popular Conde Nast titles will go tablet-only.2018-The last Barnes & Noble store converts to a cafe and digital access point.2019-B&N and Amazon's publishing arms - including self-pub - will dwarf all other publishing.2019-The great culling of the publishers. Smaller houses may survive but not many of them. The giants like Random House and Penguin will calve their smaller houses into e-only ventures. The last of the "publisher subsidized" tablet devices will falter.2020-Nearly every middle school to college student will have an e-reader. Textbooks will slowly disappear.2023-Epaper will make ereaders as thin as a few sheets of paper.2025-The transition is complete even in most of the developing world. The book is, at best, an artifact and at worst a nuisance. Book collections won't disappear - hold-outs will exist and a subset of readers will still print books - but generally all publishing will exist digitally.