Look e-readers and tablets are great. I have one and I love reading on it, but there are still books I buy in physical format. I still go the library and check out print books. Why? Because they are cool! Print is here to stay, people like it. The smell, the feel, the look. All those covers and the way books on shelves make you look smarter than you really are. The pile by the couch and the one on your nightstand. Books will get you laid, yes even Dragonlance if you enjoy a challenge.
Books are freaking books they are the ultimate form of the written word. We started out on cave walls and moved onto stone tablets, then papyrus. Huge freaking tomes that were all handwritten by monks who never had sex because they had to spend all their time writing. Then we got the printing presses and yes, the books were still big and only rich people had them. Then movable type came along and books started getting smaller and more accessible. Already by that point, more than just rich and privileged were learning how to read.
This isn’t unlike home video that leapt from its own stone tablet like reels of the movie theatres and into VHS cassettes. Which was sort of similar the smaller and more portable books. Then of course there were DVD’s followed by Blu-Ray. They weren’t really any more portable, just better than the first version. Like getting better print, better bindings, moveable freaking type. Plus, all that happened in under fifty years. Humans as a whole didn’t have time to get thoroughly attached to them. Books have been around a lot longer. They are entrenched in our blood.
Now both books and film are both on digital format. Which is great because I can go on a three hour flight and have one hundred and thirty books and seventy movies with me in one spot. I don’t have to make the decisions like the rich people did before their journey to the new world and limit my luggage to only one hundred books. Isn’t technology grand? No decisions, no regrets, YOLO!
Rollerblades didn’t kill bicycles. Calzones didn’t kill pizza. CSI: Miami didn’t kill CSI. However good taste and the war on drugs killed disco. And a cataclysm infected meteor killed the dinosaur. Look, the best you doomsayers are going to get – if you get anything at all – is a situation like the shooting of J.R. Ewing, print books being J.R. and epubs being the shooting sister-in-law. Where killing the best thing about your world turns out to be a terrible idea and sets off some boring and bizarre events. Ultimately, it will turn out to be just a horrible dream. All will be corrected in about eight months, book time.