Tech Bacon

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The Demise of Books Exaggerated March 9, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — lfheller @ 9:59 am

Will the Kindle kill books? I think not. But then I again, I’m often wrong. It’s merely interesting to me that people think the advent of another option for reading is a bad thing.

There is one consistent truth about media: each new method of easier distribution actually widens the market. VHS did not kill the movies and neither did DVD. Rather, the larger audience inspired more films to be made, not less. Hard drive recorders and digital downloads have hit the networks hard in terms of the number of viewers actually watching commercials, but thanks to high speed, more shows are being viewed in total just by different means.

The trouble lies in figuring out how to monetize those changes. The producers of VHS tape are gone, replaced by discs. Same with audio cassettes, supplanted by CDs and now hard drives. Will the printed page be replaced by E Ink? Perhaps. But if it puts reading material in the hands of more people are we bemoaning the decline of reading or the loss of craft? And isn’t there room for both?

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