The Future of the Printed Books in the Digital Age - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

The Future of the Printed Books in the Digital Age

In today’s modern society, hardcovers and paperbacks have lost their place as a front-runner in the book industry, with new innovation and technology being so rampantly developed and researched all over the world. Actual books might eventually be a thing of the past. We are in the print era gradually shifting to the digital world. A big question therefore arises: what is the future of printed books? The fact that books are so relevant in today’s world is not sufficient to underestimate the digital technology, or rather the implications that accompany its continued implementation in our society.

Today, the digital world has transformed the medium of disseminating knowledge from what we used to call tough and cumbersome to pleasurable, easy to use and accessible gadgets such as Kindles, e-books and iPads. Books hardly stand a chance of merely existing in future as reports in recent studies from mercantile companies such as Amazon indicate that kindles and e-books sales are high on the rise after their prices substantially continue to reduce.

We are currently undergoing a form of change. Change is neither a material thing that can be put on like a garment nor a mere event. Change can only be a way of thinking; that is, a different mindset from the mindset that formed the current realities in which most of us find ourselves. In the sense that we cannot advance from our current position with the same level of thinking that got us there, there is need to figure out how to navigate to this new era.

It is quite evident that books are surprisingly no longer the principle cultural media. This is because books are increasingly becoming relegated to a lower edge by the flashing screens, iPads, e-books, Kindles, tablets and other related electronic media. It is a common belief now that printed books and related media are doomed and outdated technology. This significantly shows that the digital era has taken full control and it is a thing to be welcomed with joy. The benefits of the digital era outweigh the print media. Digital books are easier to share information at a relatively cheap price and can be accessed all over the world to anyone with access to the internet. It is also advantageous in that information can be stored over a long time frame without wear and tear, hence the current trend of shifting to the digital age.

Paperwork will not completely diminish in spite of dire predictions. It will survive but its place in the modern culture might significantly change. Although there is an outcry from scholars that printed books may become obsolete with new technology, this is heresy, according to Brian Goodman, a contributor at HuffPost, having written 100+ explanatory essays related to education and technology. He says that there are certain experiences that are found in a printed book considering the smell or even its feel, something that definitely cannot be found on mp3 or kindles. He, therefore, argues out that this is one main reason that will never see the death of a printed book.

As the tussle between the digital media and printed media continues, it is important to determine the strength and the weakness of each medium. By learning this, it will help to determine their future. “Digital media has multimedia capabilities, it is shareable, has unlimited and near instant supply and even multiple input possibilities,” notes Kevin Johnston, Digital Marketing Director at ConfidentWriters. On the other hand, it lacks standardization and issues to do with portability not to mention the restrictions from booksellers. These qualities by far outdo printed sources and therefore the direction we are heading is clear.

In the future, books have a minimal chance of surviving. Electronic media are quickly replacing the printed media and within a little time, books will be of little use in our society. Printed media will definitely struggle to exist, but they will eventually become phased out by the digital age within no time. Though books remain to be part of our history, they have no future in this digital age.




About the author


One Comment

  1. A close observer of the print industry... says:

    This confident projection here of the rapid death of the print book is definitely not in-line with current trends in the book industries. E-book sales have been stagnant and even declining in some sectors since 2015, while print books have made a resurgence in popularity. Ultimately, there are a number of important qualities held by print over digital books that cannot be replicated on a screen (ex. the haptic appeal to people of the physicality/tactility of books, ability to easily write in the margins, share books with friends/family, etc, and better comprehension of printed text according to a number of recent studies, and the fact that you actually OWN a physical book rather than an e-book owned by the corporation and leased to you). Ultimately, it appears people nowadays still like print more than digital, even if digital is sometimes more convenient and accessible (it has definitely helped me out quite a bit and I’m grateful for it). The future will likely see a long co-existence between print and digital.


Leave a Comment

Comment Policy