To anyone who is worried about the survival of the printed book I present this:
Yes, that is Captain Jean Luc Picard, enjoying a hardcover book in the 24th century.
Case closed. Books aren’t going anywhere.
Okay. Fine. So maybe only sexy, refined men will continue to read hardcover books, and the rest of us will make use of paperback books, e-books, audio books…Ugh, I can’t even get worked up about it. We still have movies even with the advent of tv. Some are still in black and white even with color film. Not every movie is in 3D yet. We still have stage plays, for pete’s sake. Although cassettes and 8 tracks are gone, we still have Cds (for the moment) and records (enjoying a new resurgence). Radio is still around, and if you include podcasts its more popular than ever. And while digital books might be taking a larger share of the market, regular ol’ paper books are still being sold, and after everyone figures out their preferred mode of reading, sales will probably even out between the two.
The thing is, I wouldn’t worry about any of our storytelling mediums, because people will always want and need stories, and people will always have preferences for how they want to experience those stories. In Chicago, where I live, I’ve attended a couple of the Moth Storyslams, which is just live storytelling on a theme, and that event sells out every single month. If live storytelling—the oldest form of storytelling there is—still has a home in this world, then the beloved book has absolutely nothing to worry about.
But you don’t have to take MY word for it—check out these other articles for corroboration!