I like physical books and bookstores. I also liked used bookstores which took a downhill turn and many went out of business.
Barnes and Noble is in trouble and with good reason. They focused their Nook brand on books where people want entertainment. This includes books but also movies and music. Something Amazon and Apple understand but B&N doesn’t. The same can be said for many people who champion Kobo or phyiscal books stores.
Taking myself as an example: I have a Kindle e-reading device. I have a tablet, phone, and laptop. I can read the same book on any of those devices and pick up right where I left off. I can take notes, highlight, and have bookmarks. These are saved on the Amazon cloud and I can access them on any of my devices.
Any device that I read digital books on can also sink underwater, burn in a fire, or be thrown out of a 20 story window. My books will still be waiting for me on any other device. Try that with paper.
Logistics will also play a role. New markets are opening for books and who wants to build new publishing houses, chop down more trees, and transport books hundreds or thousands of miles? Digital can go anywhere there is an internet connection in a matter of seconds – including space.
Today, most individuals have access to one or several electronic devices. Reading and knowledge gathering are more accessible to the masses in more places than at any time in history. Digital is the only way that is possible. The paper way is old and on the way out. Paper books will be available for some time to come. However, digital will continue into the future and the increase in use can only go one way.
I don’t own a printer and the only DVD’s I have contain videos I took years ago. The digital world is much simpler. My books, music, and movies are in the cloud.
Written in response to:
There Will Always Be a Place for Great Bookstores