Let’s look over to the Engine to see this interesting commentary about print:
“With films and music being knocked from pillar to post and suing everyone, why is it that books are still the same as a hundred years ago. Print, distribute/buy, read. The only thing that changed is the distribution (ie. Amazon) …Book sales up 2.9% in 2006, for, I think, the fifth year in a row. (Not going to mention that Sony Reader Thing, I hate it.) I’m fascinated how book publishers are, ultimately, not having the problems of other producers. And really the only strugglers are people selling them in an old fashion way, but thats industry for you.”
“I think one of the reasons that books aren’t having the same problems as music or movies is in the nature of the book itself.Technology makes it easier to get access to many different things, but the experience from getting them digitally can be minimal, or drastic. Take music for example, if a cd is downloaded off the internet or bought in store, the sound waves coming to your ears are basically the same, sometime exactly the same if good quality music is downloaded. Your ears still hear the same thing. The only difference is a bought CD contains the jacket, which is a nice add-on, but not the main product itself. Movies are the same, if someone rents or borrows a DVD then copies it, then they have the same thing as a store-bought version, only cheaper. They won’t notice the difference when it’s in the DVD player and they are watching it. For books however, there is a large difference between looking at a book, and words on a screen. The manner in which the medium is enjoyed is fundamentally different, and in my opinion worse. Therefore it will not be subject to the same problems as other mediums.”
“Books = portable non-volatile storage medium that does not require electricity to operate = not going away.”
“But you need electricity to reproduce film & music anyways – and anything that is an electric medium will end up fully digitized, eventually.”
“Of course there will always be printed books. But will they retain their current place as popular entertainment medium? Every electronic reader so far has been disappointing, although each new iteration appears less disappointing than the last. It seems to me as though technological progress should get us to the point within the next decade that a portable reader that’s good enough can be made and sold cheaply enough that reading-as-entertainment will finally begin to happen more with e-readers than on printed paper. Even then I don’t see paperbacks disappearing overnight, but more likely doing a slow fade into a niche market. Art books, classic works both literary and pop, that sort of thing.”
“Book sales are still going up. Electronic readers are a dumb idea. Because, quite simply, a paperback doesn’t run out of display power before the last chapter.”
More in the link, but isn’t it enough to say that print has the benefit of tactile qualities?