Words on Printed Books: “Not Dead Yet”

Laura Miller of Salon weighs in on the death of print:

If print could talk, it would surely be telling the world, Mark Twain-style, that reports of its demise have been greatly exaggerated. The market for e-books grew exponentially after Amazon introduced the Kindle, and it’s still one of the most fascinating and unpredictable sectors of a once hidebound industry. But the early-adapter boom is showing signs of flagging and the growth of the e-book market appears to be leveling out. E-books are definitely here to stay, but it seems that many, many readers — a threefold majority, in fact — still prefer print.

Unlike some, her pro-book argument doesn’t hinge on bashing e-readers or self-publishing, per se. She sees perhaps a stable symbiosis between a certain flavor of indie book store and the rush of technology.

Misses what is for me the big problem, e-readers are still mostly a crappy user experience for many of the varied things you can do with a printed book. (CF, Dorothy Parker: “This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force.”) But at some point, at least the UX will get better, if not the projectile possibilities.

Also in the “paper=good” category: there’s a kind of wonderfully wacky ad campaign going, Paper Because, that I first saw in the print edition of the NYTimes. It comes from Domtar, a pulp and paper company. “Domtar is committed to the responsible use of paper.” (Please print responsibly, no laser printing if you’ve been drinking!)

Screen Shot 2013-03-31 at 9.29.39 PM
Priceline founder Jay Walker’s library. A little more appealing than a bunch of computers and e-readers somehow.  (Photo links to a video tour on Vimeo, more or less library porn; NSFB–not safe for bibliophiles).

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