Will the Printed Book Be Irrelevant in the Future?

Some say “books are dead” and it’s time to ditch 15th-century technology.

There’s a detailed explanation on why they are now irrelevant, including space, cost, and readability.


But there are those who say doomsayers are wrong. Many of the reasons given are related to the tactile experience, the option to personalize, and the emotional attachment.

They are not only for showing off, says another.

My take is that they won’t totally die, but will most likely be limited to those who really appreciate them for what they are — physical objects to own. After all, one can put a value to the first copy of the first edition of Isaac Newton’s first book. I wonder if we can value the first ever digital “publication” of an e-book?

As a carrier of content, there are means that are faster, cheaper and more accessible than the printed book. But like playing music through vinyl records, there is joy in holding it, appreciating the cover art and spending time to enjoy it.

It doesn’t have to be one or the other. One can get a daily dose of content from an e-book or tablet, and also enjoy a hard cover once in a while.



  1. I like printed books much better, but after my precious books got soaked in mud when Sendong (“Washi”) struck my hometown, I vowed never to buy another printed book again. I’ve grown to like my Kindle.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, books (and newspapers and magazines) have been disrupted by digital technology. It’s inevitable. I just hope they survive. It would be sad if future generations won’t even recognise them.

      It’s like handwritten scrolls — they went away when the printing press was invented. Now it’s the printed book’s turn.

      But surviving scrolls can be precious, and I hope some books too.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I must say that the probability of me finding shiny what I’m reading is higher with physical books. Also, I like to keep copies of books I want to read again and I have many. I sure will do my share to keep books alive. Fact is, people still print picture books so let’s hope they don’t only exist in the future as a special exception.

    Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.