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GeneT
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Reged: 11/07/08

Loc: South Texas
How Long Will Printed Books Be Available?
      #5633740 - 01/20/13 06:34 PM

I recently received a notice from Sky Publishing that their Pocket Sky Atlas is being offered in an E-edition that we will be able to read on our mobile communication devices. I see where all this is going. It is just a matter of time when printed material will go away and be replaced by electronic distribution.

I tell all my friends that if they are considering buying a printed book, they should go ahead and purchase it. I am looking at my collection of astronomy books. There are at least 40. I don't want to read or use them via electronic media. These books are among my best friends. I am not anti electronic media. I read a lot of news items on my Android Tablet. Taptu is one of my favorites. However, it is just a matter of time when printed books will go away, and be replaced by some photons.


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helpwanted
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: GeneT]
      #5633795 - 01/20/13 07:05 PM

While I have a very large collection of Astro books in my Library, I would love to have The Pocket Sky atlas as digital for my iPad!

Edit: I just looked for it, it's only available for the Kindle... Where is the ibooks version?

Edited by helpwanted (01/20/13 07:08 PM)


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stevecoe
"Astronomical Tourist"
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Loc: Arizona, USA
Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: GeneT]
      #5633797 - 01/20/13 07:06 PM

Gene;

I disagree. I believe that printed text on paper will be available for many years to come. It may certainly get more expensive, but it will be there for those of us who want to enjoy reading a book.

Clear skies;
Steve Coe


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desertstars

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Reged: 11/05/03

Loc: Tucson, AZ
Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: stevecoe]
      #5633964 - 01/20/13 09:40 PM

Gene, from what I've been seeing (as an insider, an independently published author) what you fear is not going to happen in the near future. As for expense, I don't think that's going to happen either. Print-on-demand (POD) technology, when properly used, actually makes paper books LESS expensive to produce that used to be the case.

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turtle86
Pooh-Bah Everywhere Else
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: helpwanted]
      #5633994 - 01/20/13 09:54 PM

Quote:

While I have a very large collection of Astro books in my Library, I would love to have The Pocket Sky atlas as digital for my iPad!

Edit: I just looked for it, it's only available for the Kindle... Where is the ibooks version?




You could just download the free Kindle app for iPad. I've been meaning to do that myself...


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faackanders2
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 03/28/11

Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: GeneT]
      #5633997 - 01/20/13 09:58 PM

As long as people will buy them.

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RobertED
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: faackanders2]
      #5634018 - 01/20/13 10:08 PM

I can't afford an iPad or Kindle anytime soon!! I will hold onto my prized astronomy books, until some future generations try to pry them from my cold, dead fingers!!!

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turtle86
Pooh-Bah Everywhere Else
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Reged: 10/09/06

Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: turtle86]
      #5634025 - 01/20/13 10:12 PM

Gene,

I understand your pessimism and certainly the market has changed in the past few years. Still, I don't see printed books going away any time soon for a lot of reasons. To name a few, books don't need a power source, computer screens can't really compete with large format printed atlases and art books, and books make great gifts. I enjoy my Kindle and iPad very much, but I still find myself buying plenty of printed books. From what I've seen here and other places, it looks like plenty of other people also enjoy both printed and electronic media.


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BobinKy
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: turtle86]
      #5634095 - 01/20/13 10:53 PM

One of the things I like to do is stand in front of a bookcase and sweep the book spines. I find that pretty hard to do with electronic media. My electronic stuff is forever getting lost--deleted, buried in endless file structures, outdated . . .

I like the old fashioned box:
    Box
    Of
    Organized
    Knowledge


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droid
rocketman
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: BobinKy]
      #5634175 - 01/20/13 11:48 PM

I hope they never go away, I love books, the feel ,the smell, the act of holding one.
Ive got over 450 books and counting, Ill never part with them.
As a child ,my favorite place to be was the library.


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bumm
sage


Reged: 01/07/11

Loc: Iowa
Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: droid]
      #5634197 - 01/21/13 12:09 AM

I can't imagine books completely disappearing. As electronic formats evolve, printed books will long outlast anything saved on computers, kindles, etc. I sometimes wonder if maybe younger folks will eventually "rediscover" printed books.
Marty


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Rich (RLTYS)
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Reged: 12/18/04

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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: GeneT]
      #5634409 - 01/21/13 06:52 AM

There will always be a demand for printed books. I have a Kindle but still prefer to hold a book in my hand.

Rich (RLTYS)


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ianatcn
sage


Reged: 05/26/10

Loc: Hampshire, UK
Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: GeneT]
      #5634536 - 01/21/13 09:11 AM

The first astronomy book that I saw was my grandfathers copy of Robert Ball's The Story Of The Sun. My grandfather was not an astronomer but had a sharp and enquiring mind. That book at age 8 had a profound effect on me. The full page coloured plates of flames leaping off the sun stuck in my mind.

I will go out of my way to add printed books to my library and will continue to do so.

I have started buying some of the Cambridge University Press print on demand reprints of rare astronomy books, like the 1st edition of Webbs Celestial Objects. They give me a great working copy to make marginal notes in and hilight in a way I wouldn't dream of doing to my old volumes.

I am also looking into getting a Kindle or similar to have these reference works with me wherever I go. But and it is a big but, when I settle down in the chair of an evening it is always a printed book I have with me.

I hope there will always be a place for them but do share Gene's concerns that like it or not technology will make the printed book more expensive and harder to come by in the future.


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RobertED
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: droid]
      #5635035 - 01/21/13 02:03 PM

Quote:

I hope they never go away, I love books, the feel ,the smell, the act of holding one.
Ive got over 450 books and counting, Ill never part with them.
As a child ,my favorite place to be was the library.




Amen to that, brother!!!!


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faackanders2
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 03/28/11

Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: BobinKy]
      #5635246 - 01/21/13 03:49 PM

Agree. Electronic format standard changes over time; often making them obsolete in the long term. And books will outlast a CME or EMP.

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MikeBOKC
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Loc: Oklahoma City, OK
Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: faackanders2]
      #5635410 - 01/21/13 05:31 PM

Books will never go away at my house. I have about 2,700 of them. I expect they will keep me busy for a few more years . . .

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GeneT
Ely Kid
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Reged: 11/07/08

Loc: South Texas
Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: MikeBOKC]
      #5635471 - 01/21/13 06:11 PM

Quote:

Books will never go away at my house. I have about 2,700 of them. I expect they will keep me busy for a few more years . . .






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GeneT
Ely Kid
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Reged: 11/07/08

Loc: South Texas
Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: stevecoe]
      #5635482 - 01/21/13 06:18 PM

Quote:

Gene;

I disagree. I believe that printed text on paper will be available for many years to come. It may certainly get more expensive, but it will be there for those of us who want to enjoy reading a book. Clear skies; Steve Coe




Believe me, I hope that you are right. Books are my best friends. A few more thoughts--when we read that book sales are now about 3 percent in electronic publishing, that does not seem like too much. However, brick and mortar book stores are on a thin profit margin. They have to pay rent, pay employees, pay shipping and so on. If three percent of book sales comes out of their gross due to electronic media, it makes their business model shaky. I am buying up some printed books just to ensure that I will have them. My personal book collection consists mainly of Bible commentaries, theological works--and of course, astronomy books.


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GeneT
Ely Kid
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Reged: 11/07/08

Loc: South Texas
Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: Rich (RLTYS)]
      #5635492 - 01/21/13 06:24 PM

Quote:

There will always be a demand for printed books. I have a Kindle but still prefer to hold a book in my hand.
Rich (RLTYS)




I agree. I would much rather read a printed book than one on my Tablet. I do find it handy when traveling reading some of my favorite news apps on my Tablet. Tablets are designed to present reading materials in a much nicer reading format than found on a lap top or desk top computer.


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faackanders2
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 03/28/11

Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: GeneT]
      #5635951 - 01/21/13 11:26 PM

Quote:

Believe me, I hope that you are right. Books are my best friends. A few more thoughts--when we read that book sales are now about 3 percent in electronic publishing, that does not seem like too much. However, brick and mortar book stores are on a thin profit margin. They have to pay rent, pay employees, pay shipping and so on. If three percent of book sales comes out of their gross due to electronic media, it makes their business model shaky. I am buying up some printed books just to ensure that I will have them. My personal book collection consists mainly of Bible commentaries, theological works--and of course, astronomy books.




I was heart broken when my favorite brick and mortar ookstore "Borders" went out of business , due to amazon on line sales . Now there is only Barnes and Nobles.


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Tony Flanders
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: faackanders2]
      #5636285 - 01/22/13 06:26 AM

Quote:

My favorite brick and mortar bookstore "Borders" went out of business ...




It's their own fault. Borders was a magnificent local bookstore in Ann Arbor that got delusions of grandeur and went national. I lament the passing of local bookstores, but not book supermarkets.


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Rich (RLTYS)
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Reged: 12/18/04

Loc: New York (Long Island)
Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5636488 - 01/22/13 09:33 AM

I also miss Borders and some of the local used book stores.

Rich (RLTYS)


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operascope
sage
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Reged: 09/03/08

Loc: Canada
Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: Rich (RLTYS)]
      #5636580 - 01/22/13 10:23 AM

There will always be a demand for printed books, but my bigger fear is the supply chain. Amazon is now market dominant, and has flexed its muscles at small publishers and independent authors to further "corner the market".
Borders is gone, and Barnes and Noble is in deep trouble. If it goes, I fear that Amazon will be able to almost do as it wishes, and one possibility is to try to move all consumers to ebooks, which can have a far greater profit margin.
Print on demand will eventually be more common, and the local bookstore of the future might have a print on demand machine at its location.
Printed books are deeply ingrained in our culture, and any change will be slower than something like vinyl to CD or CD to digital... of course vinyl is still being produced, if only in very small quantities.


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GDN
sage


Reged: 04/14/11

Loc: Northern Michigan
Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: Rich (RLTYS)]
      #5636582 - 01/22/13 10:24 AM

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


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droid
rocketman
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Loc: Conneaut, Ohio
Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: Rich (RLTYS)]
      #5636589 - 01/22/13 10:26 AM

We used to have a Waldons book store in the local mall, Spent tons of money in there, one day I go in and they no longer carry astronomy mags, but they have been replaced with other, shall we say scandolous, mags.That should have been a sign.One year later, more or less, they folded.

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okieav8rAdministrator
I'd rather be flying!
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Loc: Oklahoma!
Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: droid]
      #5636642 - 01/22/13 10:58 AM

Borders Bookstore was owned by Waldenbooks.

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blb
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: okieav8r]
      #5636679 - 01/22/13 11:23 AM

Quote:

Borders Bookstore was owned by Waldenbooks.



And they are both gone now and I miss them. What few small bookstores are left, not having been run out of business by the big box book stores, do not cary a good selection of books either. Even Barnes and Noble does not have the selection it used to without the competion from Borders. It is a sad day for me because all I have left is Amazon. I just can not look at a book on Amazon. I know they have the look inside feature, but it is not the same as looking through a book. I need books because I will never go completly digital where you have to update every six months or less.


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blb
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: blb]
      #5636684 - 01/22/13 11:28 AM

Quote:

...I lament the passing of local bookstores, but not book supermarkets.



But they drove out of business many of the mom and pop, localy owned, book stores. So now with there passing, unless you live in Boston or some other large metropolis, your out of luck if you wont to pick up a book and look at it.


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George N
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Loc: Binghamton & Indian Lake NY
Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: blb]
      #5636765 - 01/22/13 12:13 PM

I think there will always be paper books, just like you can buy a musket or a crossbow or a fire starting kit. However, the price will be very high. The largest paper manufacturer in the USA just went bankrupt, and many of the others are in trouble. The process is environmentally disruptive and faces more and more regulation, not to mention objections to cutting down more forests. The cost of distribution is also climbing. There are just too many middlemen involved in the physical manufacture and distribution of paper books.

Even in my small town, and certainly large USA cities, there is almost no one in the library reading rooms or checking out books. Everyone is on the computers. My library has cut way back on the new books purchased. Plus, even in my little town, there’s free WiFi everywhere. Many in library science are realizing that they will have to radically change, or see no customers. Just today I saw a report on CNN about a new venture that will install vending machines with iPads you rent out by the hour….. free in libraries. When you insert the iPad back in the vending machine it wipes out everything you did and re-sets it for the next customer. It will be coming to an airport near you!

There is a lot of discussion of “the graying of the print industry” as books and magazines appeal to fewer young people. Remember, today even 2 and 3 year olds know how to use an iPad. For many it's their favorite toy! This year South Korea has declared “paper is obsolete” in schools. No more books, paper, pens, for kids from kindergarten thru grad school! They are all issued a tablet with all text books, tests, homework, etc on them. The “books” are supplemented with video lectures and demos, and can be updated quickly. No more reading about the Inchon landings for Korean kids: they can watch a 2 minute video and then play with an interactive map. The kids smart-phones will have math drills that they need to complete on the way to school! Many schools in the USA are moving in the same direction, and also not even teaching cursive handwriting any more. We are probably the last generation who will even know how to hand-write a note to grandma.


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mich_al
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: faackanders2]
      #5636834 - 01/22/13 12:48 PM

Quote:

Agree. Electronic format standard changes over time; often making them obsolete in the long term. And books will outlast a CME or EMP.




Changeing standards is a real concern of mine. I've got lots of music (and soon to be video) that I have no way to 'play'.


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mich_al
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Reged: 05/10/09

Loc: Rural central lower Michigan ...
Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5636860 - 01/22/13 12:58 PM

Quote:

Quote:

My favorite brick and mortar bookstore "Borders" went out of business ...




It's their own fault. Borders was a magnificent local bookstore in Ann Arbor that got delusions of grandeur and went national. I lament the passing of local bookstores, but not book supermarkets.




Tony
I was just thinking of the original Borders on State Street in AA just a few hundred yards from the U of M diag. Amazing world class bookstore. I spent many hours there browsing, creaky floors and hidded niches. Once stumble on a book concerning the engineering principles of urinals. Was only in the new AA store a block south a couple of times.


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GeneT
Ely Kid
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Reged: 11/07/08

Loc: South Texas
Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: operascope]
      #5637481 - 01/22/13 06:10 PM

Quote:

Print on demand will eventually be more common, and the local bookstore of the future might have a print on demand machine at its location.




If this becomes the future, it just won't be the same. I don't want to print off a book with my home computer's printer. I call up my bookstore, and they print it off for me? Probably this model will mean that a few companies like Amazon will corner all the book printing business. I wonder what that will mean to specialty books such as on astronomy that we all enjoy? I don't know how this will all shake out, but in my opinion, it doesn't look good.


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City Kid
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: GeneT]
      #5637608 - 01/22/13 07:38 PM

Gene, I hope you're wrong about the demise of printed reading material but I think you're probably right. However I don't think printed material will go away in my lifetime so I will continue to enjoy kicking back in comfort while I hold real books and magazines in my hands just like we're supposed to do!

Phil


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helpwanted
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Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: City Kid]
      #5637641 - 01/22/13 08:04 PM

I don't think book stores, such as Borders, went out of business because of digital media. I feel they put themselves out of business by turning themselves into libraries. They had plush comfy chairs, free wifi, and you could get a coffee and snack... And no one cared if you say there and read a book off the shelf. There was no longer a need to buy the book!

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desertstars

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Reged: 11/05/03

Loc: Tucson, AZ
Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: helpwanted]
      #5637868 - 01/22/13 10:14 PM

Quote:

I don't think book stores, such as Borders, went out of business because of digital media. I feel they put themselves out of business by turning themselves into libraries. They had plush comfy chairs, free wifi, and you could get a coffee and snack... And no one cared if you say there and read a book off the shelf. There was no longer a need to buy the book!




Not sure how much that aspect actually hurt them, but they were definitely their own worst enemy, with a history of really dumb decisions. It was a shame to see them fold, but no one who was paying attention was especially surprised.


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faackanders2
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 03/28/11

Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: George N]
      #5637916 - 01/22/13 10:40 PM

Quote:

I think there will always be paper books, just like you can buy a musket or a crossbow or a fire starting kit. However, the price will be very high. The largest paper manufacturer in the USA just went bankrupt, and many of the others are in trouble. The process is environmentally disruptive and faces more and more regulation, not to mention objections to cutting down more forests. The cost of distribution is also climbing. There are just too many middlemen involved in the physical manufacture and distribution of paper books.

Even in my small town, and certainly large USA cities, there is almost no one in the library reading rooms or checking out books. Everyone is on the computers. My library has cut way back on the new books purchased. Plus, even in my little town, there’s free WiFi everywhere. Many in library science are realizing that they will have to radically change, or see no customers. Just today I saw a report on CNN about a new venture that will install vending machines with iPads you rent out by the hour….. free in libraries. When you insert the iPad back in the vending machine it wipes out everything you did and re-sets it for the next customer. It will be coming to an airport near you!

There is a lot of discussion of “the graying of the print industry” as books and magazines appeal to fewer young people. Remember, today even 2 and 3 year olds know how to use an iPad. For many it's their favorite toy! This year South Korea has declared “paper is obsolete” in schools. No more books, paper, pens, for kids from kindergarten thru grad school! They are all issued a tablet with all text books, tests, homework, etc on them. The “books” are supplemented with video lectures and demos, and can be updated quickly. No more reading about the Inchon landings for Korean kids: they can watch a 2 minute video and then play with an interactive map. The kids smart-phones will have math drills that they need to complete on the way to school! Many schools in the USA are moving in the same direction, and also not even teaching cursive handwriting any more. We are probably the last generation who will even know how to hand-write a note to grandma.




My kids were in the elementary school laptop program, and they all broketheir computers several times (only the 1st was covered by warranty), and often it took a long time to repair. Conclusion elementary school kids are too young. I believe they would be responsible at high school level.


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faackanders2
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 03/28/11

Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: helpwanted]
      #5637929 - 01/22/13 10:45 PM

Quote:

I don't think book stores, such as Borders, went out of business because of digital media. I feel they put themselves out of business by turning themselves into libraries. They had plush comfy chairs, free wifi, and you could get a coffee and snack... And no one cared if you say there and read a book off the shelf. There was no longer a need to buy the book!




And what is wrong with excellent customer service? They filled a niche.


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helpwanted
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Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: faackanders2]
      #5638003 - 01/22/13 11:23 PM

"And what is wrong with excellent customer service? They filled a niche. "

but they made no money doing it!


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operascope
sage
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Reged: 09/03/08

Loc: Canada
Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: helpwanted]
      #5638116 - 01/23/13 12:39 AM

Online sales and ebooks are the cause of the demise of both the small independent book stores, as well the big box stores. Sales of books in "bricks and mortar" establishments have eroded over the last several years by about 10% year over year.
The challenges they were facing were things that could be seen coming long before. There are/were ways to meet the challenges, such as diversifying (sell more than just books), and investing earlier and better in their online sales departments. They didn't make the changes early enough or well enough, and now they are paying the price.

My concern for the future of paper books isn't at the retail level. Instead, I fear that the publishers won't be able to make ends meet in today's marketplace. Just imagine the impact that would have.

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


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Tony Flanders
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Reged: 05/18/06

Loc: Cambridge, MA, USA
Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: helpwanted]
      #5638306 - 01/23/13 06:51 AM

Quote:

I don't think book stores, such as Borders, went out of business because of digital media. I feel they put themselves out of business by turning themselves into libraries. They had plush comfy chairs, free wifi, and you could get a coffee and snack... And no one cared if you say there and read a book off the shelf. There was no longer a need to buy the book!




Book stores started to be put out of business by Amazon long before digital media made a dent in their market. The coffee shops are shrewd marketing, a way of distinguishing themselves from Amazon, providing a service that can't be replicated online.

In my town (Cambridge, MA) numerous bookstores with coffee shops are thriving, both big ones and small ones. Remeber, coffee is a high-margin business! Of course, this is a college town ... that helps.

In addition to providing books cheaper than any brick-and-mortar store can, Amazon has the huge advantage of being able to stock a wider selection, beating the great large bookstores like Ann Arbor's Borders or Cambridge's Coop at their own game.

I make a point of supporting my own local bookstores whenever possible; I'm willing to pay a premium to buy from a local, independently owned store. But sometimes, when I need a book in a hurry and they don't have it in stock, I have no choice but to buy from Amazon.


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operascope
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5638546 - 01/23/13 10:02 AM

Very good points, Tony. As well, many smaller stores are also fighting the online sales by live events at the stores, everything from author readings and signings to speed dating and wine tasting. The most successful stores today have become more than just places to store books for customers to buy.

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hm insulators
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: GDN]
      #5640625 - 01/24/13 12:58 PM

Quote:

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.


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JayinUT
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: hm insulators]
      #5641488 - 01/24/13 09:05 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.

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helpwanted
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: JayinUT]
      #5641648 - 01/24/13 10:24 PM

Quote:

if I could pay a fee by article to download past Sue French Deep Sky articles I want




Just buy her two books, Celestial Sampler & Deep Sky Wonders, they are both copies of past columns.


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LivingNDixie
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: JayinUT]
      #5641697 - 01/24/13 10:58 PM

Quote:

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.




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.


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CounterWeight
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: LivingNDixie]
      #5642105 - 01/25/13 08:43 AM

I think it a mistake to assume everyone can afford a computer, connection, printer, etablets and smart phones - c'mon folks... but a bigger mistake in concept to think that all books lend themselvs 'well' to the digital format.

Counter example... my daughter and her friends spend very little time at all on the web and are avid readers of printed books.

I remember hearing this question 15 or so years ago at a party of tech folks, I remeber laughing then, and I still am. Thinking that somehow folks will read books if they are on a 'gadget', I disagree. The sad fact IMO is that too many adults I know are not avid readers, and many don't many books at all. Take away printed books and put everything digital and require the attending gadgets and we'll have an even more ignorant population... that is my prediction. I feel that is not only something to worry about but to work to abate.

There are places where I feel digital makes itself necessary and important and books maybe a good example? It's very unclear to me just who is saving what or benefitting how that something be 'online only' in terms of books. Having it as an option might be good in ways, but 'only' is not an option. Local printing and binding not inexpensive at all if I want something that will be of quality construction and hold up over the years.

Since the invention of the printing press books have done their job nicely. There isn't anything to 'fix' in what a book is. I feel the demise of the brick and mortar stores more a comment on how many do not read books and instead watch the TV or play computer games (many of which are unfortunatly extremely violent and not educational in any way) or watch movies on either. At our local libraries folks are not reading books on computers, they are doing research or browsing and emailing. I'm frustrated that they must spend some of the money on computers instead of their collections, but I do agree it does help those that cannot afford a computer and libraries are a community sevice.

The disappearance of brick and mortar bookstores is more to do with our unending need for convenience, something for nothing mentality, and the unending want / need for 'more' for our own efforts... until it's our job is on the block. It's not just books that have suffered. There is good and bad in the digital revolution.

[qoute]Soon collectors and enthusiasts will be those who own and pursue books.





I think this is and has always been the case. For others it might be wines, or eyepieces or ... and possibly in same way it's not so much what they are but what they can provide outside the delivery medium.

We have several brick and mortar bookstores with walking distance of my home. I often compare the difference in price between them and 'the web' and in reality, including shipping... and cost of a computer, and web connection I save nothing buying over the web. Even it is one or a few dollars more I'll buy the local copy to support the local brick and mortar economy.

Interesting times to be sure. I walk into a store and buy something with $50- bill and I get looked at and so does the $... use plastic and they don't even blink. This is happening on our watch folks. I'm not drinking that kool-aid.

It takes planning and effort to physically go to a bookstore and buy with cash, can't do it at 2am when I can't sleep and difficult to be impulsive or whimsical with discretionary funds that way. If no bookstore... that IMO is a problem

A good topic to revisit in another 15 years?


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okieav8rAdministrator
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: CounterWeight]
      #5642141 - 01/25/13 09:01 AM

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!

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PhilCo126
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: okieav8r]
      #5642306 - 01/25/13 10:39 AM

Surely for a very long time as there'll always be a demand for printed (school/university) books...
The digital age will be a period during which mankind lost most of its data (there's more around and not all of it is taken in backup as it should be). Moreover current formats might be unreadable by the next decade...


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Tony Flanders
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: PhilCo126]
      #5642464 - 01/25/13 12:15 PM

Quote:

Surely for a very long time as there'll always be a demand for printed (school/university) books...




It's rash to use the word "surely" when speaking of the future. It's easy to think of technologies that have been wiped out virtually overnight, like phonograph records. And the technology that destroyed them is itself critically endangered.

On the other hand, it's easy to think of technologies that weren't wiped out. Radio took on a smaller role when TV was introduced, but it's still going strong. Bicycles have, if anything, increased in importance.

My hunch is that books are going to be one of the survivors. I would be very surprised if they stopped being printed in large quantities while any of the people reading this is still alive. But I have been surprised before.


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Tony Flanders
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: hm insulators]
      #5642468 - 01/25/13 12:16 PM

Quote:

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?


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Tony Flanders
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: CounterWeight]
      #5642472 - 01/25/13 12:20 PM

Quote:

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.


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blb
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5642674 - 01/25/13 02:13 PM

Quote:

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.


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faackanders2
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: JayinUT]
      #5644374 - 01/26/13 01:06 PM

Quote:

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).


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faackanders2
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: hm insulators]
      #5644379 - 01/26/13 01:10 PM

Quote:

Quote:

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!


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faackanders2
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: LivingNDixie]
      #5644387 - 01/26/13 01:15 PM

Quote:



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.


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George N
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: operascope]
      #5644497 - 01/26/13 02:25 PM

Quote:

......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.


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George N
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5644533 - 01/26/13 02:44 PM

Quote:

Quote:

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?


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George N
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5644545 - 01/26/13 02:50 PM

Quote:

Quote:

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.


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George N
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: George N]
      #5644550 - 01/26/13 02:53 PM

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

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faackanders2
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: George N]
      #5645207 - 01/26/13 10:19 PM

Quote:

....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.


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Rick Woods
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: faackanders2]
      #5646163 - 01/27/13 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*


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GeneT
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: George N]
      #5646365 - 01/27/13 04:24 PM

Quote:

....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.


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Tony Flanders
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: Rick Woods]
      #5646473 - 01/27/13 05:18 PM

Quote:

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.


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Rick Woods
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5647327 - 01/28/13 01:50 AM

Quote:

Quote:

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.

Quote:

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!


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Tony Flanders
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: Rick Woods]
      #5647505 - 01/28/13 07:31 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

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.


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faackanders2
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5649500 - 01/28/13 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

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Rich (RLTYS)
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5650042 - 01/29/13 10:56 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

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.

Rich (RLTYS)


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RobertED
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: George N]
      #5650122 - 01/29/13 11:42 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

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?????


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RobertED
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: Rick Woods]
      #5650135 - 01/29/13 11:48 AM

Quote:

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!!!!!

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GDN
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: RobertED]
      #5650182 - 01/29/13 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


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droid
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: GDN]
      #5650261 - 01/29/13 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.


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Rick Woods
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: droid]
      #5650392 - 01/29/13 01:56 PM

Quote:

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.

Quote:

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!


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blb
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: Rick Woods]
      #5650452 - 01/29/13 02:29 PM

Quote:

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.


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rockethead26
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5650661 - 01/29/13 04:18 PM

Quote:

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.


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turtle86
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: rockethead26]
      #5650759 - 01/29/13 05:08 PM

Quote:

Quote:

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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beatlejuice
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: droid]
      #5650905 - 01/29/13 06:34 PM

Quote:

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.




If you watch this movie: "Fahrenheit 451" the book lovers horror film, you might not sleep for a week.

Eric


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droid
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: beatlejuice]
      #5651257 - 01/29/13 10:03 PM

More importantly IVE GOT THE.....BOOK

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BillFerris
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5651360 - 01/29/13 11:16 PM

Quote:

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.




Harvey Butchart's Topographical Map of Grand Canyon

Harvey Butchart is widely regarded as the greatest modern explorer of Grand Canyon. After moving to Flagstaff, Arizona in 1945, Butchart spent the next four decades hiking within the depths of the canyon. Venturing below the rim mostly on weekends, Butchart spent more than 1,000 days in Grand Canyon, hiking an estimated 12,000 miles, making first ascents of numerous summits and pioneering well over 100 routes through the canyon's most intimidating barrier, the Redwall Limestone. Butchart recorded his hikes in written logs and by tracing the routes he walked on a 1948 reprinting of the Matthes and Evans topographical map of Grand Canyon. The above link will take you to a digital copy of Butchart's personal map, made available through the online archives of Cline Library at Northern Arizona University.

That any of use are able to peruse Harvey Butchart's personal map, get close to it, and see it with such clarity and detail is only possible because the original print has been translated to high resolution digital files. If you zoom in as far as the interface allows, you'll see the map as well--probably better--than if you could lay out the original on a table and scan it in person. If you position the zoom slider about halfway between the "+" and "-", you'll see the map at roughly the same scale as most printed maps are when examined up close. And up close is how most maps are viewed. We don't stand back and take in maps in their entirety; at least, not for long. Most people focus on a specific section of a map, bring the map near enough to see that section in good detail and continue reading the map in this manner. That is exactly the experience you'll get when using the above interface to view Harvey Butchart's map of Grand Canyon.

When preparing for an overnight backpacking trip in Grand Canyon, one of the most valuable resources I have is National Geographic's "TOPO Arizona" digital mapping software. Using this tool, I am able to create custom maps for each day of my upcoming trip. Printouts mapping each day's intended route are packed and used as my primary reference during the hike. I use paper printouts for the obvious reasons:
* Light weight
* Fit in a ziplock sandwich bag
* Notes can be made on them
* No batteries required

All of the above are technical challenges that will one day be overcome. Eventually--in my son's lifetime, if not in mine--digital maps will be as transportable, lightweight and durable as the paper maps we use, today.

The day that happens is the day printed maps become thoroughly obsolete as every day tools. As objets d'art, printed maps will always have and be valued. But as a practical matter, printed items will be missed about as much as the horse & buggy, the Victrola, kinescope, eight-track cassettes, pay phone booths, etc. Yes, there will be a small segment of the population who celebrate and continue such traditions. But the vast majority of us will accept and even embrace the advantages new technologies bring.

How long will printed books be available? I don't know and don't really care. I enjoy reading a good book. Curling up in bed and spending the last minutes of my day reading a book or magazine article--or perusing a printed map--are enjoyable activities in my book. I enjoy reading books because it's what I know. I grew up a reader, read to my son most every night for the first seven years of his life and still enjoy the feel, smell and sound of a book in the hand.

Some day in the next year or so, I'll get a tablet. Either someone will buy it for me as a gift or I'll buy it for myself. Either way, I'll eventually start using it to download and read books. I'll enjoy the simplicity of it, the ease of it and the fact that my nightstand isn't cluttered with books I've read the last several months. It won't take long before, without really thinking about it, I'll use the tablet for most all my reading. And that won't be a sad day. Nor will it be a day to celebrate. It will be a day just like any other.

That's how life is. Big things happen on days just like any other. And most of the time, we don't even realize the big thing that just happened was all that big.

Bill in Flag


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Rick Woods
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: BillFerris]
      #5651484 - 01/30/13 12:51 AM

When someone invents a large, paper-thin, high-def screen that folds up like a map, and allows you to turn it into any map you want, that problem may be solved.

Everything has its place. But books have a much more exalted place than electronics in my world.


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Rich (RLTYS)
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: Rick Woods]
      #5651942 - 01/30/13 10:01 AM

My dream is to have an old fashion library with dark wood paneling and bookshelfs from floor to ceiling full of books.

Rich (RLTYS)


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PhilCo126
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: Rich (RLTYS)]
      #5651966 - 01/30/13 10:17 AM

Advantage of digital versions... Out-of-Print NASA publications made available online
http://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/pao/History/series95.html#monographs


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Ragaisis
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: BillFerris]
      #5652162 - 01/30/13 11:59 AM

Well said, Bill. I've grown up with books over the past half century. I LOVE 'em. But I also embrace the advantages that technology brings. And I look forward to the future. The Consumer Electronics Show has already been showing off computer screens that are flexible pieces of plastic that can be rolled up for storage. Camping stores all sell small solar panels with the connections to charge your phones and tablets.

Maybe we aren't where we need to be to "replace" books. Remember, there was a time where people were saying that the steam engine wouldn't replace horses or even manual laborers on the railroad. All the shortfalls that people had were eventually be addressed. And there were benefits that nobody even considered, as well.

Will books be replaced by electronic media? Maybe. Probably. Will we see it? Perhaps. Will we be required to give up our beloved books when it happens. No way! Having one doesn't mean that you can't have the other. They aren't mutually exclusive.

When people ask me about this topic (or even whether to give electronic media a try) I always say, "Give it a shot. Give it an honest try for a couple months and see what you like and don't about it. What you find may surprise you one way or another." I know people who won't buy a book unless it is available for the Kindle. And I know those who have just handed the technology to someone else to use.

Me? I look forward to the possibilities...


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swalker
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: Ragaisis]
      #5652362 - 01/30/13 01:43 PM

One thing you won't find as an E-book is art exhibition catalogs. Most of the books I want to read for my own enjoyment is artist biographies and the thick, $100 books of retrospective exhibitions. You can't find a single one on the kindle store, because picture books are by nature massive- text uses vector-graphics, which are tiny in actual bit usage, while pictures are raster-graphics, which are much bigger. That and I'm sure it's hard to sell an e-book for upwards of $100.
However, there is good reason these books cost so much. Taking photographs of artwork is expensive and time consuming. You don't just walk around a gallery snapping photos. You need specific lighting, a special lens (micro lenses are designed for this purpose, so that straight lines near the edge of a photo are not distorted), and much finessing of each variable to take a good photo of a painting or sculpture.

So for this reason, I don't see E-books replacing printed ones. Not for a long time at least.

Edited by swalker (01/30/13 01:47 PM)


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George N
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: Rick Woods]
      #5652463 - 01/30/13 02:31 PM

Quote:

When someone invents a large, paper-thin, high-def screen that folds up like a map, and allows you to turn it into any map you want, that problem may be solved.

Everything has its place. But books have a much more exalted place than electronics in my world.




Then you guys will be happy to know that thin plastic roll-up displays are already well along in the development process. I’d bet that they can get them to fold up pretty soon. There’s even work on clothing that can function as a display as you walk down the street, while also including sensors to feed your vital signs to your doctor’s office (a doctor who might be in India or China).

However, even better: A number of firms are well along on e-glasses that will project the ‘display’ directly into your eyes! You will have full-time access to the ‘net, and can display say a few pages of your favorite book or map while stopping to take a rest. It will provide full-time info on what you are seeing. Meet a person in a coffee shop? The glasses will allow you to immediately see their FaceBook wall and bio. See a tree? Instantly connect to the Wikipedia page on that species, or see vital data displayed next to the tree in your field of vision.

This tech will be available faster than you can say iPad.


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George N
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: George N]
      #5652469 - 01/30/13 02:36 PM

I see people expressing concern about not being able to read old digital formats. However, since your ebook files will be “in the cloud”, not on your storage, the reading of old formats is Google’s problem, not yours. You will not “own” a book file in the old sense. You will only purchase an access to the on-line file. This stuff will be there forever, as will anything you post even now on the web.

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Rick Woods
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: George N]
      #5652515 - 01/30/13 03:02 PM

Quote:

Quote:

When someone invents a large, paper-thin, high-def screen that folds up like a map, and allows you to turn it into any map you want, that problem may be solved.

Everything has its place. But books have a much more exalted place than electronics in my world.




Then you guys will be happy to know that thin plastic roll-up displays are already well along in the development process. I’d bet that they can get them to fold up pretty soon. There’s even work on clothing that can function as a display as you walk down the street, while also including sensors to feed your vital signs to your doctor’s office (a doctor who might be in India or China).

However, even better: A number of firms are well along on e-glasses that will project the ‘display’ directly into your eyes! You will have full-time access to the ‘net, and can display say a few pages of your favorite book or map while stopping to take a rest. It will provide full-time info on what you are seeing. Meet a person in a coffee shop? The glasses will allow you to immediately see their FaceBook wall and bio. See a tree? Instantly connect to the Wikipedia page on that species, or see vital data displayed next to the tree in your field of vision.

This tech will be available faster than you can say iPad.




OMG!! That sounds like a script for a lulu of a nightmare!!

But here's the good part: I don't have to be a part of that. If I fall behind the times, it'll be times I don't want to keep up with.
If they stop making books, I'll have to get my books from the lot that's already been printed; anything newer, I'll print myself. Or else do without it.


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rockethead26
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: Rich (RLTYS)]
      #5652532 - 01/30/13 03:19 PM

Quote:

My dream is to have an old fashion library with dark wood paneling and bookshelfs from floor to ceiling full of books.

Rich (RLTYS)




Like this?

This is a picture of the main hall of the Trinity College Library in Dublin that I referenced in an earlier post. I did not take this image and it is in the public domain.



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George N
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: JayinUT]
      #5652533 - 01/30/13 03:21 PM

Quote:

....... School books over the next 20 years will move from hard bound books to books online. .....




20 years? I’d bet some school districts will convert over in 2 years! As I previously posted, in South Korea, as of this year, there is no longer any paper in any schools. Books, notes, homework, tests, records are all on computer. They are teaching the kids how to type, not how to hand write.

If New York or California Ed Dept goes to Apple and says “We want to buy 7 million iPads, and this is the price we’ll pay, including service and recycle after 4 years” you can bet that they will pay a lot less that you or I will for the same tablet. I’ve seen savings estimates of nearly 2 thousand dollars per high school student by going digital. Additionally, imagine an 11th grade chemistry student having problems understanding something while doing homework, and their ‘text book’ offers a live connection to a teacher in India who can answer their questions. The learning benefits are obvious.


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George N
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: George N]
      #5652588 - 01/30/13 03:44 PM

Art?

Here ( web page ) you can zoom and pan around the Sistine Chapel and probably get a better view than Michalango had….. the site is complete with medieval background music.


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swalker
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: George N]
      #5652615 - 01/30/13 03:57 PM

That's wonderful George, except it's one of the few "public domain" works of art. Also, the books I refer to are not entirely pictures. There's lots of critiques, anecdotes, and other research in them.

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Crow Haven
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: swalker]
      #5652837 - 01/30/13 05:34 PM

My guess is that books, etc., in print will continue to be available for as long as their paper and bindings can hold out. There may always be those who are interested in the tangible means of communication...communication is what it's all about, be it by flora, fauna, or human means... but whatever works best in the situation is what will prevail the longest. I imagine those who once pressed their information into clay tablets or carved them in stone would find our methods today of conveying communications marvelous!

I am a book lover too -- that library photo looks like heaven to me -- but when it comes to saving space available for my collection I appreciate some of it in digital format these days.
---Maya


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bicparker
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: Crow Haven]
      #5653404 - 01/30/13 11:08 PM

Paper lasts a long time.. a really long time. A really really really long time. And it can take quite a bit of abuse, extreme changes in temperature, and other environmental changes and still be readable.

While paper and ink (or pencil) does not have the information density of most electronic media, it has a proven longevity that is likely only outlasted by stone carvings. Electronic media in both current and past popular forms has shown comparatively short longevity. Magnetic flux density deteriorates as does the media it is on. UV breaks down re-writable disks, and other optical disk technologies are very environmentally sensitive.

In other words, data on electronic media is very volatile compared to paper and ink.

We are seeing a lot of print media disappearing at a very fast rate. I don't think that will stop, but there will be a trade-off in the long run. We will also see a lot of archival information that has been saved to electronic media disappear at an increasing rate in the future. The information that will be saved will be those bits of data that find an energy sponsor to keep the digital data powered and viable. Otherwise, it will be the data that is committed to paper and ink (in a book), which is and will be the ultimate in resilient information as a practical matter.

Until we find a storage media that has a shelf life of a couple of thousand years with no special decoding requirements and no power requirements, then we are going to have to satisfy ourselves with the increasing volatility of data over the foreseeable future.


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CounterWeight
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: bicparker]
      #5653487 - 01/31/13 12:59 AM

hmmm anyone read the book or see the movie "Forbidden Planet"...

Look no hands... look no feet... look no bicycle or road!...

"remember the Krell!"


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Rick Woods
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: bicparker]
      #5653498 - 01/31/13 01:13 AM

Quote:

Paper lasts a long time.. a really long time. A really really really long time. And it can take quite a bit of abuse, extreme changes in temperature, and other environmental changes and still be readable.

While paper and ink (or pencil) does not have the information density of most electronic media, it has a proven longevity that is likely only outlasted by stone carvings. Electronic media in both current and past popular forms has shown comparatively short longevity. Magnetic flux density deteriorates as does the media it is on. UV breaks down re-writable disks, and other optical disk technologies are very environmentally sensitive.

In other words, data on electronic media is very volatile compared to paper and ink.

We are seeing a lot of print media disappearing at a very fast rate. I don't think that will stop, but there will be a trade-off in the long run. We will also see a lot of archival information that has been saved to electronic media disappear at an increasing rate in the future. The information that will be saved will be those bits of data that find an energy sponsor to keep the digital data powered and viable. Otherwise, it will be the data that is committed to paper and ink (in a book), which is and will be the ultimate in resilient information as a practical matter.

Until we find a storage media that has a shelf life of a couple of thousand years with no special decoding requirements and no power requirements, then we are going to have to satisfy ourselves with the increasing volatility of data over the foreseeable future.




What a good post! Eventually, all we'll know is what is sponsored for us to know at the moment. No going back to see what the facts were 100 years ago.

Not a pretty picture.


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Rich (RLTYS)
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: rockethead26]
      #5653677 - 01/31/13 06:35 AM

Quote:

Quote:

My dream is to have an old fashion library with dark wood paneling and bookshelfs from floor to ceiling full of books.

Rich (RLTYS)




Like this?

This is a picture of the main hall of the Trinity College Library in Dublin that I referenced in an earlier post. I did not take this image and it is in the public domain.






Now THATS my idea of a library.

Rich (RLTYS)


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George N
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: bicparker]
      #5654243 - 01/31/13 12:33 PM

Quote:


.....Electronic media in both current and past popular forms has shown comparatively short longevity. ...... In other words, data on electronic media is very volatile compared to paper and ink.....




I'm not sure any of that is true now, or in the near future anyway.

Google (for one) is pumping literarily billions of dollars into creating redundant data centers. They are located in cool geographic regions (to reduce cooling costs) and Google forces local governments to guarantee ultra-cheap taxes, power costs, and secrecy…. or no Google data center (and the many high paying jobs). Their goal to save everything forever and I think that they have the $$ to do it. It is interesting that they blur the view of their data centers in Google Earth! Google will not even allow state governors or US Congress members inside their data centers, so we don’t know what they have to protect the data, except that it is massively redundant and spread world-wide.


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George N
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: George N]
      #5654251 - 01/31/13 12:36 PM

And just on time for this discussion…. My local news paper (which I read on line) today has an article about one area school district converting over to iPad only for their high school – 9th and 10th grades to start, lower grades to follow. The other districts around south-central New York are experimenting with them, and several administrators say that “it’s the wave of the future”. Cost savings alone dictates it, but I believe that educational performance will also benefit.

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Tony Flanders
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: George N]
      #5654635 - 01/31/13 04:29 PM

Quote:

Quote:


.....Electronic media in both current and past popular forms has shown comparatively short longevity.




I'm not sure any of that is true now, or in the near future anyway.




I agree. That particular problem crept up on us unaware early in the computer age, but it became widely recognized a couple of decades ago. Since then, major strides have been made in reproducing and distributing information to make sure that it lasts a very long time.


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Crow Haven
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5654703 - 01/31/13 05:08 PM

I don't know anyone who is actually using these http://www.mdisc.com/what-is-mdisc/ so can't vouch for it, but it sounds interesting for file backup...

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Rick Woods
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: Crow Haven]
      #5654897 - 01/31/13 07:03 PM

To comment on a couple of posts:

George N,
Google will then have sole distribution rights to all that information. And when they get around to cutting expenses, some of it will disappear. It certainly won't be freely available; it'll be available at the pleasure of Google. Not a problem now, but nothing stays static. Sort of scary, if you invoke the worst case scenarios.

Also George N,
The schools going to ipads is probably a great idea. That's one area where current materials are essential; and books do become out of date.

Tony,
Let's see how those improved digital storage media hold up over a couple of centuries.

It's a pickle! I think we need both printed and digital media to continue into the forseeable future. The only time problems really arise is if we have one and not the other. Move into the future, without sacrificing the past.


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mountain monk
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: Rick Woods]
      #5655216 - 01/31/13 10:31 PM

Well, the NSA will always have it at their new storage site in Utah.

Dark skies.

Jack


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BobinKy
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: rockethead26]
      #5655515 - 02/01/13 02:53 AM

Quote:

Quote:

My dream is to have an old fashion library with dark wood paneling and bookshelfs from floor to ceiling full of books.

Rich (RLTYS)




Like this?

This is a picture of the main hall of the Trinity College Library in Dublin that I referenced in an earlier post. I did not take this image and it is in the public domain.






Thank you for posting this beautiful photo of a beautiful place.


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BobinKy
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: bicparker]
      #5655518 - 02/01/13 03:01 AM

Quote:


Paper lasts a long time.. a really long time. A really really really long time. And it can take quite a bit of abuse, extreme changes in temperature, and other environmental changes and still be readable.





But rock can last much longer.

Rock--Paper--Scissors: You vs. the Computer. I love to play this game.


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Rick Woods
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: BobinKy]
      #5656122 - 02/01/13 10:59 AM

Quote:

Quote:


Paper lasts a long time.. a really long time. A really really really long time. And it can take quite a bit of abuse, extreme changes in temperature, and other environmental changes and still be readable.





But rock can last much longer.





Harder to turn the pages, though.


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George N
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: Rick Woods]
      #5658402 - 02/02/13 03:53 PM

In the not-too-distant future paper and printing costs will be much higher as more and more producers drop out of the business, publishers will be moving to digital, and distribution channels will dry up. At that point, you’ll have the choice of paying $5 for an on-line copy of a new book, or $150 + delivery for a paper copy. Print your own? Printer sales are rapidly declining right now, as are the sales of ink and paper…. Meaning big price increases per/page for home printing. Meanwhile, tablets will be getting thinner, lighter, cheaper, and batteries will last 50+ hours…. not to mention that they’re fun to play with. As businesses go truly ‘paperless’ the corner ‘printing center’ will be history. The schools around the world will be pumping out graduates who have very little experience with paper and think of their iPad as something like a wristwatch. You put it on in the morning without thinking, and you use it for everything, including work and finding a mate.

I think that tablet and smart phone technology is as massively transforming as Guttenberg’s printing press was. And we’re not just talking books here….. my friends in academia tell me that soon most college students will rarely walk onto a campus. The ‘internet university’ is becoming a reality. All those paper pushers, printers, paper makers, lumberjacks, etc, will go the way of those who a hundred years ago made cheese boxes and milk bottles. In 1900 the railroads were the largest employer in America. Today they are experimenting with completely robotic trains….. no crew (and their health insurance) needed at all. Change is happening fast…..


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Rick Woods
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: George N]
      #5658496 - 02/02/13 04:53 PM

Every big change seems to end up in fewer people having jobs...

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GeneT
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: George N]
      #5659100 - 02/02/13 11:14 PM

Quote:

In the not-too-distant future paper and printing costs will be much higher as more and more producers drop out of the business, publishers will be moving to digital, and distribution channels will dry up. At that point, you’ll have the choice of paying $5 for an on-line copy of a new book, or $150 + delivery for a paper copy. Print your own? Printer sales are rapidly declining right now, as are the sales of ink and paper…. Meaning big price increases per/page for home printing. Meanwhile, tablets will be getting thinner, lighter, cheaper, and batteries will last 50+ hours…. not to mention that they’re fun to play with. As businesses go truly ‘paperless’ the corner ‘printing center’ will be history. The schools around the world will be pumping out graduates who have very little experience with paper and think of their iPad as something like a wristwatch. You put it on in the morning without thinking, and you use it for everything, including work and finding a mate.

I think that tablet and smart phone technology is as massively transforming as Guttenberg’s printing press was. And we’re not just talking books here….. my friends in academia tell me that soon most college students will rarely walk onto a campus. The ‘internet university’ is becoming a reality. All those paper pushers, printers, paper makers, lumberjacks, etc, will go the way of those who a hundred years ago made cheese boxes and milk bottles. In 1900 the railroads were the largest employer in America. Today they are experimenting with completely robotic trains….. no crew (and their health insurance) needed at all. Change is happening fast…..




Well said. I'll repeat my recommendation--if you are thinking of buying a print copy of a book, buy it soon. There are several William-Bell books I will be ordering soon.


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GeneT
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: BobinKy]
      #5659102 - 02/02/13 11:15 PM

I visited this library about 5 years ago.

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droid
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: GeneT]
      #5659154 - 02/02/13 11:58 PM

Lets assume for a minute that books do go electronically, and Im some what of a ludite, and some one who currently has 1000 real books wants them all in the electronic format, how exactly would one store 1000 digital books, or do you just download read and delete to make room on the tablet, lap top-what have you, ?????

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Rick Woods
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: droid]
      #5659252 - 02/03/13 01:34 AM

You can always write stuff to disc, and delete it from the computer if you need the room. I have lots of PDF-format books stored off like that. I've also printed several of the more useful ones.

But, I don't know how this would work with Kindle or tablet formats (since I don't have one - being more or less a luddite myself! )


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CounterWeight
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: Rick Woods]
      #5659565 - 02/03/13 09:19 AM

Often when researching I'll have several open at once... as they are often in a unique binding it's easy to go from on to another digging out what I'm after. Would be interesting to try same with little tablets that look the same...

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BillFerris
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: droid]
      #5659664 - 02/03/13 10:19 AM

Quote:

Lets assume for a minute that books do go electronically, and Im some what of a ludite, and some one who currently has 1000 real books wants them all in the electronic format, how exactly would one store 1000 digital books, or do you just download read and delete to make room on the tablet, lap top-what have you, ?????




As wireless continues to improve, the need to download externally produced media to a local storage device will eventually decline to zero. Master files will live in the cloud and consumers will enjoy an ever expanding menu of digital content via the Web...think Netflix, Hulu, etc. I suspect we'll see a continuation of the breakdown of brick & mortar barriers which resulted in the niche retail sales model. Businesses won't be limited to offering a relatively narrow selection of media. You'll be able to go to one site to gain access to films, series, books, magazines, music, etc. At first, you'll pay a monthly subscription fee for access to a broad selection of digital content licensed to a virtual storefront. For a small premium, you'll have the option to customize your subscription to allow first-in-line access to certain types of content. Eventually, someone will master the art of incorporating advertising into the consumption of online media in a way people actually enjoy...or, at least, don't find annoying. When that day comes, the model will most likely shift in the direction of classical broadcasting. Content will be free. We, the consumers, will be the product sold.

Bill in Flag


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GeneT
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: BillFerris]
      #5660388 - 02/03/13 05:18 PM

Quote:

As wireless continues to improve




When I travel, I do most of my reading on a 10 inch Android Tablet. I found that newspaper-like type of content loads and reads quite well. Books similarly. However, magazines such as Astronomy and Sky and Telescope have a lot more graphic content. I find them not quite as handy. Pages load more slowly and it takes time to go back and forth.

However, wireless and mobile platforms are only a few years old. I believe that technological advances in hardware and software will continue to improve the reading experience. Having said all that, I still will use much more often my printed books for astronomy, vs. my mobile apps, as long as I live.


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Rick Woods
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: GeneT]
      #5660564 - 02/03/13 06:50 PM

Am I mistaken, or is much of the bandwidth for this wireless downloading coming at the expense of frequencies used by radio astronomy?

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helpwanted
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: Rick Woods]
      #5660727 - 02/03/13 08:57 PM

"wireless and mobile platforms are only a few years old"

Pagers date back to 1959, both wireless and mobile


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GeneT
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: helpwanted]
      #5660866 - 02/03/13 10:56 PM

Quote:

"wireless and mobile platforms are only a few years old" Pagers date back to 1959, both wireless and mobile




Technically true. My point is the development of smart phones and Tablets and apps. These developments are shifting reading content to these applications, and away from printed materials.


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GeneT
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: Rick Woods]
      #5660870 - 02/03/13 10:58 PM

Quote:

Am I mistaken, or is much of the bandwidth for this wireless downloading coming at the expense of frequencies used by radio astronomy?




Good question! It is becoming difficult to keep up with bandwidth requirements among all the users.


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faackanders2
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: GeneT]
      #5660973 - 02/04/13 12:15 AM

Read Barnes and Nobles may be next book store to go.

Would there be any other bookstore left?


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bicparker
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5661048 - 02/04/13 01:29 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:


.....Electronic media in both current and past popular forms has shown comparatively short longevity.




I'm not sure any of that is true now, or in the near future anyway.




I agree. That particular problem crept up on us unaware early in the computer age, but it became widely recognized a couple of decades ago. Since then, major strides have been made in reproducing and distributing information to make sure that it lasts a very long time.




What do you mean by "very long time"? I'm talking in terms of hundreds of years.

Do you have in mind some specific solution that is actually in existence and being implemented or actually in wide use? I don't know of one to the scales to which I am referring. You are right in saying that this is a recognized problem. There is a lot of talk going on amongst various US and European groups and task forces, but they are, at best trying to figure out a 50 year strategy. The actual storage solutions are about as elusive as new battery technologies. There are several ideas, but nothing in widespread use. The actual strides you are talking about are simply not there, yet.

The most common strategy used by many governmental units is to "refresh" data onto new media every now and then, but that is only a temporary patch. And it does not address format incompatibilities.

Unfortunately, especially when talking about government records regarding things like real property transactions (which require the ability to be stored for hundreds of years), there aren't any solutions that are verified to have lifetimes that can be measured beyond 50 years. And even if there were such a solution, the readable/retrievable formats of storage (i.e., physical block and track layouts on media, logical file layouts, formats, character sets used, et al) used are too variable and include several proprietary formats, some of which are becoming indecipherable due to the documentation of their formats being lost (ironically because they are being stored electronic media, as well). It is not just about the media, but also about the formats.

I think we are going to see this situation get a bit worse before it gets better. It seems that humanity generally needs a crucible to go through before it takes steps it needs to rectify the problems that created the crucible in the first place. Perhaps in 50 years when some company wants to recover shale oil or some other desperately needed resource and it finds out that all of the mineral rights records were recorded in Quattro Pro files that are on degraded 3.5" magnetic disks, then possibly something will be done about it.


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Rick Woods
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: bicparker]
      #5661068 - 02/04/13 02:07 AM

Quote:

The most common strategy used by many governmental units is to "refresh" data onto new media every now and then, but that is only a temporary patch. And it does not address format incompatibilities.




Yes. And in an extreme situation - say, a global war or asteroid impact, something that would mean the end of civilization as we know it - there may be no retrieval technology available at all. These mass storage devices would be completely useless. Only analog media - books - would have a chance of still being available when they were needed.

I don't understand why we leap so gleefully into new technology to the exclusion of the old, which has served so faithfully and effectively for centuries. Digital media seems like a wonderful and useful supplement; but certainly not a replacement.

A little circumspection is definitely in order!


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okieav8rAdministrator
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: Rick Woods]
      #5672955 - 02/10/13 07:54 PM

soup to nutz

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faackanders2
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: Rick Woods]
      #5673210 - 02/10/13 10:33 PM

When the greek library of Alexandria was burned down (Crusades?) all the scrolls/knowledge was lost, and we went into the dark ages, and the west(europe) had to relearn everything during and after the renessaince.

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Tony Flanders
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: faackanders2]
      #5673491 - 02/11/13 05:05 AM

Quote:

When the greek library of Alexandria was burned down (Crusades?) all the scrolls/knowledge was lost, and we went into the dark ages, and the west(europe) had to relearn everything during and after the renessaince.




Umm, the burning of the great library was certainly a disaster, but it was in no way the cause of the Dark Ages.

The burning of the library has been blamed on many people: the Greeks blamed it on the Romans, the Romans blamed it on the early Christians, and the Christians blamed it on the Muslims. But the Crusaders is a new one!

As so often, Wikipedia has a good article on the Early Middle Ages -- a better name than the Dark Ages. The decline in population, wealth, and learning were caused by social, political, economic, and military factors.

Edited by Tony Flanders (02/11/13 05:27 AM)


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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: faackanders2]
      #5673645 - 02/11/13 08:57 AM

There are actually four postulated dates for the destruction of the Library of Alexandria, the earliest being 48BC by Caesar, the latest 642AD during the Muslim conquest. All well before the Crusades. Most likely it was more a slow deterioration, periodic looting, etc., rather than one cataclysmic event.

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John Fitzgerald
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: MikeBOKC]
      #5673732 - 02/11/13 10:07 AM

This is nothing new. More efficient and convenient technology has always supplanted old. The invention of the printing press put scribes out of business. Trains drove stagecoach lines to ruin. Guns supplanted bows and arrows. On and on. Eventually something like a transporter may completely replace all means of travel other than local. When the present adult generations are dead, the passing of something that is just now being invented will be lamented. In 75 years: "They used to have something called a tablet reader. How primitive!"

Edited by John Fitzgerald (02/11/13 10:09 AM)


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Tony Flanders
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: John Fitzgerald]
      #5673815 - 02/11/13 10:51 AM

Quote:

Eventually something like a transporter may completely replace all means of travel other than local.




I wish we could live long enough to make a bet on that one!

Nothing is impossible; the Moon could quantum tunnel through Earth tomorrow. I think that's about the same order of likelihood as practical teleportation being invented this century, this millennium, or in the next billion years.

As I said long before in this thread, many technologies have been displaced -- and many haven't. If you look at the stuff that surrounds you in your home, it's sobering to realize how much of it existed 2,000 years ago, with fairly minor modifications. There's a lot that an ancient Roman would find strange in the modern world -- and a lot that he wouldn't find strange at all.

Plates, knives, bottles, shoes, clothing, piped running water, and so on. They do their jobs just fine, no need to reinvent them.


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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5674063 - 02/11/13 01:24 PM

Quote:

Quote:

When the greek library of Alexandria was burned down (Crusades?) all the scrolls/knowledge was lost, and we went into the dark ages, and the west(europe) had to relearn everything during and after the renessaince.




Umm, the burning of the great library was certainly a disaster, but it was in no way the cause of the Dark Ages.

The burning of the library has been blamed on many people: the Greeks blamed it on the Romans, the Romans blamed it on the early Christians, and the Christians blamed it on the Muslims. But the Crusaders is a new one!

As so often, Wikipedia has a good article on the Early Middle Ages -- a better name than the Dark Ages. The decline in population, wealth, and learning were caused by social, political, economic, and military factors.




Umm, wasn't that great library in Alexandria located in Egypt and not Greece?


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Tony Flanders
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: blb]
      #5674383 - 02/11/13 04:32 PM

Quote:

Umm, wasn't that great library in Alexandria located in Egypt and not Greece?




Alexandria was and still is in Egypt.

It was founded by Alexander the Great and was the center of Greek culture for several centuries, before being supplanted by Constantinople (now Istanbul, in Turkey). Alexandria was also, incidentally, the center of Jewish and early Christian culture. It's where most of the text of the Bible was compiled.

Ancient Greeks lived all over the Mediterranean, not just in what's now called Greece. Countries as we now know them are a distinctly modern invention. Over the great expanses of geography and history, multiculturalism has always been the norm.


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John Fitzgerald
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5674788 - 02/11/13 08:55 PM

Fifty years ago an iPad would have been thought of as magic. Many modern technologies would have been thought of that way in the 1800s. Back in the Roman times, if someone was flying with a jet pack, he could have passed himself off as a god. Teleportation as we think of it now may be impossible, but who knows what methods may be used in 200 years.

I think printed books will mostly be gone in as little as 15 years.


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CounterWeight
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: John Fitzgerald]
      #5674901 - 02/11/13 10:14 PM

Ptolemaic Egypt and the library...

there's some in there in a historical persepctive though possibly a bit short on the papyrus to vellum and scribal methods on heiroglyphic, heiratic, and demotic - which language was used were and what for... if I remember we owe our little remaining of 'the sand reconer' to vellum? or something like that...

Quote:

I think printed books will mostly be gone in as little as 15 years.


That is what a fellow forecasted 15 years ago too...

Folks have so many wonderful distractions other than reading entire books these days... we are in the age of the 'factoid' and 'info nugget' and 'sound byte' I really enjoy talking to folks that read.


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droid
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: CounterWeight]
      #5675350 - 02/12/13 07:15 AM

The library of Alexander being burned.....it seems no one can agree on who was responsible.

http://ehistory.osu.edu/world/articles/ArticleView.cfm?AID=9

But were drifting slightly off course, of course, lol.
We will strive to keep this as on topic as possible.


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Rick Woods
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: droid]
      #5676880 - 02/13/13 12:30 AM

I think 15 years is a little pessimistic. But they'll get steadily scarcer and more expensive, that's sure. I mean, you can still buy a hand-scribed book, or a sailboat, or a horse-drawn buggy, or a hand-made telescope with a hand-ground mirror; but they're not as cheap or readily available as once they were.

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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: GeneT]
      #5683416 - 02/16/13 12:32 PM

Quote:

How Long Will Printed Books Be Available?




Until they run out of trees. No, I guess they could still make books from rags or rat skins.


Mike


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GeneT
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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: okieav8r]
      #5684259 - 02/16/13 09:13 PM

Quote:

soup to nutz




I'm going to do a deep review of William-Bell and get a few more books--while I can.


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Re: How Long Will Printed Books Be Available? new [Re: GeneT]
      #5695641 - 02/22/13 09:06 PM

Studies have shown that printed books are easier on the eyes than electronic media. I think printed books will be with us for at least twenty more years.

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