(photo from here)
A while ago the NY Times published this article about the consequences of a world without book covers. According to them, an eReader domination could mean not only a commercial loss for publishers and authors (no free advertisement), but also the impossibility of randomly connecting to other people.
[On a similar note, take a look at this strangely addictive website (just like watching people shop on BookDepository) called CoverSpy, where “A team of publishing nerds hits the subways, streets, parks & bars to find out what New Yorkers are reading.” Example of their under-cover sightings: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, William Shakespeare (M, teens, baseball cap, red shirt, backpack, B train).]
As I’ve written before, I’m a big fan of public reading and it’ll be sad day when I only know if a book is popular by the size of its Facebook fan club. Actually, when I grow up I want to edit a collection of true stories about people who met because of a book they were reading in public.
The truth is, I feel more threatened by eReaders than I should, even though I have one. It’s like they’re threatening my way of live. I’ve read somewhere that Sony is expecting sales of digital books to overtake traditional ones in 2015. In 30 years, will I be considered an oddity if I buy paper books? Will my grandchildren only have digital bookshelves? My prediction it that paper books will become a sort of niche, just like vinyl records. And just like vinyl, they’ll have a comeback after decades of being considered out-dated and uncool.
I’m from a generation that only went online for the first time in their late teens, but proudly absorbed and pushed forward the digital age. I’m far from being progress-resistant, but right now I can only too easily imagine a world where I’ll think of book covers with nostalgia. And one more thing: I don’t care what the experts say, Pluto will always be a planet to me!