Same Destination By Different Paths


by: Rachel VanValkenburg

The very first day of class, we discussed the future of  the publishing industry and whether or not we thought print books would be overtaken by ebooks. Myself being biased towards print books, I agreed that it could never happen and this would be one instance where technology became all-powerful. I searched for someone with the opposite bias to see what their opinion on the matter was and found Candide Kirk on Digital Book World. Candide talks about how once she completely switched over to ebooks, she found it difficult to go back to print. She said, “It felt like someone had handed me a ‘90s flip phone after years of using a smartphone,” and promptly gave up.

So for someone who couldn’t go back to print after exclusively reading ebooks, what opinion would she have for print versus digital? Would we discard print books like we did the flip phone? I know that it would be extremely difficult for me to give up my iPhone and go back to using the phone I used in high school. Would I feel that way about books in six years? Candide comments on the improvement of technology in general saying, “The ‘user journey’ from discovery to consumption to sharing was improved by digital” but “the same cannot yet be said about books.” She goes to describe how buying a reading a print book is too unique and “romanticized” to ever be completely replaced.

So from opposite sides of the court, we agree that print and ebooks will continue to coexist. While there are many who have grown to prefer ebooks and all things digital, there are still many people who would rather browse a bookshelf, pick up an actual book, and get totally lost in the experience of reading it.




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