We don’t know about you, but we’re of the opinion that there’s a certain pleasure in having your own books. We don’t mean a selection of books you choose from a screen and scroll down to read. We mean a physical book that you can pick up off the shelf, walk to the library and select, flip the pages and enjoy its new-book scent (okay maybe that last one’s just us).

That, however, does not seem to be the direction the world is headed. In an interview, Nicholas Negroponte, author and founder of One Laptop per Child, told CNN’s Howard Kurtz that the days of physical books are numbered.

He doesn’t think that the physical medium can be distributed to enough people: “When you go to Africa, half a million people want books … you can’t send the physical thing” he said. Negroponte also stresses the efficiency of being able to put hundreds of books on laptops. If buying a laptop for a child in the developing world appeals to you, it is $199 and you can do so here.

Student Emmett Shoemaker, 18, thinks “people who really read will always have books just as people who really listen will always have records, for the foreseeable future at least, so it’ll be a niche market. You may not be able to get the new ‘Twilight” in print but Melville and Emerson will be. In that way I don’t think its all that bleak.”

What do you think?

Image Source: gaspi *yg under Creative Commons
Will physical books be gone in five years? [CNN Tech]

Dave said:
Oct 19, 2010 at 11:49 pm

Think they are both right.