2050: Will Paper Based Books Still Exist?
When the Amazon Kindle came out it was a milestone in several aspects of life. The digital book proposition means a more eco-friendly reader and instant access to different sought out titles, among other benefits. But honestly, how many people in the world are still buying paper based books? How many people have bought a digital book reader?
Even today with so many channels and gadgets to read from, there hasn't been a total conversion from physical stock to cloud based stock. Although it cannot be done overnight, the rate at which the conversion has been done is not nearly as fast as brands would have originally intended.
A survey conducted on August 2010 published on InternetRetailer.com reported that out of more than 2,000 US readers, a mere 8% owns a digital book reader.
Nevertheless, not all countries share the same number. South Korea is planning to equip its entire school system with digital readers to replace textbooks by 2015. These digital readers would include a webcam and other features. I used to dream about this when I was growing up. If you are sick at home, you don't have to miss class. You are in it from the comfort of your own bed.
Why is it then that in a world where people camp out of a Mac Store to get the latest Steve Jobs Pitch to Applenatics, books are still mostly paper based? Perhaps the sentimental value held within real pages is so grand that gadgets aren't enough to replace it. Economy is definitely not an issue, because although an e-reader is around $200 bucks, e-books are much cheaper than regular ones.
In the looks of other countries taking a national initiative to become more and more digital, will the pressure be on? Perhaps it was a rough start and by 2050, who knows? We might even hold physical books as museum exhibits.