What is the future of the book in the digital age?

How do we view the printed book today and what type of reader does it make you?

Image by Syd Wachs @videmusart on Unsplash

When is a book not a book?

When it is an electronic book. E-books are so common place today that we have a whole generation growing up and reading from them, both at home and in schools, at a rate some may say threaten to one day supersede physical editions.

Why do we buy e-books?

  • Often lower prices than their physical equivalents (although don’t discount charity shop bargains).
  • Increased comfort — purchase from home or on the go.
  • Portability.
  • A larger selection of titles.
  • Greater access — students can login from school/university and at home.
  • Saves on shelf space — hundreds of books in your hands.
  • Keywords can be electronically searched — great for research.

From page to pixel

With an increasingly common shift in medium over the last decade we have seen a migration from pages to screens and this often raises mixed opinions. What is your reaction to new media’s approach to the book?

Does the e-book change how we read?

Quickness over quality?

We can all self-publish today easily on electronic formats. And with this freedom there is naturally a greater surge of texts and a general decline in quality of writing and publishing.

Physical book as vessel

The allure of the stacked shelf

‘To browse or scroll’, that is the question

A book shop or library could be seen as a way less scroll-intensive version of Twitter or Instagram — social media platforms where recommendations and suggestions can come and go by the second.

Does print still matter?

Despite concerns within the industry that with the rise of digital media the printed book would not be able to survive, it seems quite the opposite — with this exposing threat put upon it, the demand for printed books is still as strong as ever.

A place on the shelf for both?

Ultimately, there is a place for both printed and digital books in our lives. There are advantages and disadvantages of both mediums, but we can be thankful we can make our own choices depending on our current personal circumstances.

Words and noise. Loops and leaves. Jump cuts and scribbledehobble. Inspired by language, sound, and vision. Writer and content designer.