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How Long Will Printed Books Be Available?

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#51 Tony Flanders

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 12:20 PM

I think it a mistake to assume everyone can afford a computer, connection, printer, etablets and smart phones.


Judging by my experience walking the streets of Boston and New York, almost everybody in the U.S. can afford a smart phone. Even if they have to go hungry or sleep in the streets.

No disagreement with your other points; books do have numerous clear advantages. But price isn't one of them.

#52 blb

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 02:13 PM

Speaking for myself, the older I get, the less tech literate I seem to be. I used to be up on it, but now, not so much. Long live books!


I hear you there Rex. I too feel that way so I too say long live the book.

#53 faackanders2

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 01:06 PM

I disagree that printed books will stick around. First, it seems that most who have posted are like me, past 40 to 50 and beyond. The upcoming generation is a tech generation and they go for what they are use to and that is going to be books available online. School books over the next 20 years will move from hard bound books to books online. All of my teacher manuals are online copies right now. As a new generation migrates off of standard books, books are going to evolve and that new generation will be more comfortable with a digital version than with a hard bound book. It's easier to use a tablet to access a book or information than to lug around several textbooks in a backpack or from the library or from a bookstore. For that matter I believe you can see magazines moving to an online format. Look at S&T with their digital format. I have found I much prefer the digital format. For that matter if I could pay a fee by article to download past Sue French Deep Sky articles I want or don't have. Anyway, though not a perfect format right now, in 20 years paper books and magazines will have evolved. Watch for the first digital tablet astronomy magazine to come online when someone young in the hobby catches the vision. I love books, I own many, many books, several thousand but the day of the traditional book's is heading toward a sunset. Soon collectors and enthusiasts will be those who own and pursue books.


Newspapers are definitely becoming a thing of the past. 24/ CNN news and 24/7 internet news and computer stock updates/trading make newspapers old news. You can almost always get more current/realtime news online (or on cable). :foreheadslap:

#54 faackanders2

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 01:10 PM

Printed books will always be available. Bottom line: they don't need batteries, power cords, or sunlight recharging. And, I can continue to read while the plane is taking off or landing.

Cheers,

Jerry

G.O.Dobek, FRAS


And when you need to "do your thing," it's easier to carry a book into the bathroom instead of a computer.


And if your like my girls, you don't need to worry about dropping your iPhone (or nook) into the toilet! :bawling: :foreheadslap: :help: :lol: :roflmao: :tonofbricks:

#55 faackanders2

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 01:15 PM


A fully dedicated astronomy magazine available only online. Very interesting. However most people think that anything on the Internet should be free. That could be what hurts it.


But free for customer means smaller sceens with advertising all around. Eeven cable now has advertising, when we pay for it (and no advertising used to be the initial push for why you would want to pay to watch "free" TV.

#56 George N

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 02:25 PM

......Of course, there will still be speciality publishers like William Bell, and perhaps they will expand to fill the need.


The couple that owns W-B are “into their retirement years”. I wonder how much longer they’ll keep it going? I’d bet that this is a small business that would be difficult to sell.

#57 George N

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 02:44 PM

And when you need to "do your thing," it's easier to carry a book into the bathroom instead of a computer.


Hmm, this opens whole new horizons. Should we be rating laptops on absorbency?


At least 10 years ago I had business reasons to visit at least one IBM facility. The company had installed TV screens in the employee bathrooms…. to show adds for IBM products! Maybe that was to get them back to work faster?

#58 George N

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 02:50 PM

I think it a mistake to assume everyone can afford a computer, connection, printer, etablets and smart phones.


Judging by my experience walking the streets of Boston and New York, almost everybody in the U.S. can afford a smart phone. Even if they have to go hungry or sleep in the streets.

No disagreement with your other points; books do have numerous clear advantages. But price isn't one of them.


In sub-Saharan Africa, where people make $900/year, a third already have smart phones and iPads are selling like crazy.

#59 George N

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 02:53 PM

....and here's a little "on-line reading", with stats on falling book sales: web page and web page

#60 faackanders2

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 10:19 PM

....and here's a little "on-line reading", with stats on falling book sales: web page and web page


Sad for us who like printed and bound books.

#61 Rick Woods

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 02:26 PM

It seems likely that the future belongs to digital publications. Too bad for things like fold-out maps, etc. But as our generation, the one that is firmly entrenched with the paper book, fades from the scene, the next generations who grow up with more limited access to books will only consider them a quaint historical thing. I feel a lot will be lost.

But, I see it in every facet of the new e-business environment. I spent my career (one of them, anyway) working on mainframe computers where custom, exact-fit programming by in-house staff was the norm. Now, this is being replaced by off-the-shelf PC software with limited-to-nonexistant customization capabilities, and I see businesses changing their business model to comply with the software rather than the reverse. This always results in a loss of functionality, and frustration to the customer because they can no longer do what they need to do, and no longer have any control over problem resolution.

Everything is being forced into a single set of parameters; one size fits all.

*sigh*

#62 GeneT

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 04:24 PM

....and here's a little "on-line reading", with stats on falling book sales: web page and web page


This just reinforces where I think all this is going--an all e-book world. In my opinion, the only question is when. I am going to now buy those astronomy books that I have put off buying. They might not be available in the near future. :confused:

#63 Tony Flanders

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 05:18 PM

It seems likely that the future belongs to digital publications. Too bad for things like fold-out maps.


Boy, it would be a tragedy if books disappeared -- but at some level the loss would be as much sentimental as practical.

Same can't be said for maps. Maps need space -- lots of space. A map on a smartphone is miserable. Even the best online maps on a large monitor are pathetic. Until somebody invents a digital display that folds out to three-by-four feet, no digital map will ever serve the same function as a printed map.

Mind you, I'm well aware that digital maps can do things that printed maps can't, such as zoom, hyperlink, and compute path lengths on the fly. All very valuable, but not at all a substitute.

#64 Rick Woods

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 01:50 AM

It seems likely that the future belongs to digital publications. Too bad for things like fold-out maps.


Boy, it would be a tragedy if books disappeared -- but at some level the loss would be as much sentimental as practical.


I suppose. But I can't help seeing it as part of the dehumanization process. We've gone from "pictures" to "images"; from a "Personnel" department to a "Human Resources" department; there are lots of other examples. Losing the tactile aspect of a book, the feel of a good binding, the solid reliability and changelessness of a printed work that won't potentially say something slightly different next time you read it; these things disturb me.

Same can't be said for maps. Maps need space -- lots of space. A map on a smartphone is miserable. Even the best online maps on a large monitor are pathetic. Until somebody invents a digital display that folds out to three-by-four feet, no digital map will ever serve the same function as a printed map.

Mind you, I'm well aware that digital maps can do things that printed maps can't, such as zoom, hyperlink, and compute path lengths on the fly. All very valuable, but not at all a substitute.


Yeah. It seems like it shouldn't be an either/or situation, doesn't it?
But, money talks, and human emotional values and considerations walk.


PS: Nice cartoon of you on your scooter! :)

#65 Tony Flanders

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 07:31 AM

It seems likely that the future belongs to digital publications. Too bad for things like fold-out maps.


Boy, it would be a tragedy if books disappeared -- but at some level the loss would be as much sentimental as practical.


I suppose. But I can't help seeing it as part of the dehumanization process ... Losing the tactile aspect of a book, the feel of a good binding ... these things disturb me.


Indeed. I've done my fair share of book reviews, and each time I remember my daughter's first step in reviewing a book -- open it up and smell it.

"Nah, this book is no good. Doesn't smell right."

Books are history. No other invention was as critical to who we are now as the printing press. Cars, airplanes, the telephone ... those are all trivial compared to the importance of inexpensive, mass-produced books.

#66 faackanders2

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 11:37 PM

On CNN they mentioned Barnes and Nobles was having trouble being profitable, and they may go by the wayside just like Borders (due to electronic books). So I guess the answer is sooner than we think or hope. Sorry :( :bawling: :bawling: :bawling:

#67 Rich (RLTYS)

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 10:56 AM

It seems likely that the future belongs to digital publications. Too bad for things like fold-out maps.


Boy, it would be a tragedy if books disappeared -- but at some level the loss would be as much sentimental as practical.


I suppose. But I can't help seeing it as part of the dehumanization process ... Losing the tactile aspect of a book, the feel of a good binding ... these things disturb me.


Indeed. I've done my fair share of book reviews, and each time I remember my daughter's first step in reviewing a book -- open it up and smell it.

"Nah, this book is no good. Doesn't smell right."

Books are history. No other invention was as critical to who we are now as the printing press. Cars, airplanes, the telephone ... those are all trivial compared to the importance of inexpensive, mass-produced books.


Your daughters right, old books have that certin smell to them that I just love. :jump:

Rich (RLTYS)

#68 RobertED

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 11:42 AM

And when you need to "do your thing," it's easier to carry a book into the bathroom instead of a computer.


Hmm, this opens whole new horizons. Should we be rating laptops on absorbency?


At least 10 years ago I had business reasons to visit at least one IBM facility. The company had installed TV screens in the employee bathrooms…. to show adds for IBM products! Maybe that was to get them back to work faster?


Not so much an issue on absorbancy, but a matter of time before 'waterproof' home computers are intalled in each and every bathroom!!!....good thing, or bad thing????? :shrug:

#69 RobertED

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 11:48 AM

[quote name="Rick Woods"]It seems likely that the future belongs to digital publications. Too bad for things like fold-out maps, etc.


I got this issue solved, Rick!!!....I'll buy the digital file of the "fold-out map", go to my nearest print shop, and have a paper copy made up!!! See, no problem!!!!! :shrug: ;)

#70 GDN

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 12:16 PM

Until we find a way to produce a 'self-regenerating' energy source, printed material will always "win-out". When the batteries run out and the electricity quits, you can still light a candle and read a print. Can't tell you how many times I've done that over the years.
Stormy weekend, power outage,... light the candles and settle down to a good book.

(Of course I also turn on the electric blanket and pop some popcorn.)

Cheers,

Jerry

G.O.Dobek, FRAS

#71 droid

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 12:54 PM

I remember growing up in the 60s and 70s , spending all the spare time I could muster in the library, Ive honestly never been a book sniffer, hehehehehehehe, but your right ,the library does have a certain smell to it.
One of my favorite books in the library then was Patrick Moores " Amateur Astronomy " a few years ago, my local library here had a book sale, I bought the same book for 1 dollar.
Such is the value of old books, worth 10 times that much in memorys.
I dont think Id want to live in a world with no books, thankfully Im old enough to never see the day, but I fear for future generations.

#72 Rick Woods

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 01:56 PM

Such is the value of old books, worth 10 times that much in memorys.


10,000 times!
I can't imagine anyone growing up with fond memories of their favorite PDF file, then rejoicing when they get to download it again. But, it could happen, I guess.

I dont think Id want to live in a world with no books, thankfully Im old enough to never see the day, but I fear for future generations.


Big +1. But I'm not so sure about being too old to see the day. Events are accelerating all the time; it could be here in just a few years.

So buy books NOW, while they're available.
And before it becomes illegal to be a book hoarder!

#73 blb

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 02:29 PM

Until we find a way to produce a 'self-regenerating' energy source, printed material will always "win-out"...


Or should we say, when we stop having to get a new system to view what we have every six months to a couple of years. Who now can play the old VHS tapes, etc. I can no longer even print out my resume that was stored on a floppy disk, got to retype it. Untill that day occures, a stable long lasting system with a better batery, I think books will survive.

#74 rockethead26

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 04:18 PM

I've done my fair share of book reviews, and each time I remember my daughter's first step in reviewing a book -- open it up and smell it.

"Nah, this book is no good. Doesn't smell right."


2007. Dublin, Ireland. Trinity College library. I'll never forget walking up and down the main floor of this 400 year-old library with that wonderful, musty smell of paper and leather. Hundreds of thousands of ancient books are housed there. One of those experiences...

Wish I could have gotten into the restricted upper floors that overlooked the main floor. There's where the really old books were kept. The place is truly magical. I could have spent a month there fueled by power bars and coffee.

#75 turtle86

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 05:08 PM

I've done my fair share of book reviews, and each time I remember my daughter's first step in reviewing a book -- open it up and smell it.

"Nah, this book is no good. Doesn't smell right."


2007. Dublin, Ireland. Trinity College library. I'll never forget walking up and down the main floor of this 400 year-old library with that wonderful, musty smell of paper and leather. Hundreds of thousands of ancient books are housed there. One of those experiences...

Wish I could have gotten into the restricted upper floors that overlooked the main floor. There's where the really old books were kept. The place is truly magical. I could have spent a month there fueled by power bars and coffee.


Wow, that sounds great.






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