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That is what we could soon hear in the mouth of the youngest, the generation “digital native” been born a transplanted keyboard left hand and a smartphone right hand.
If 98 % of the young people prefer to read on paper rather than on screen, the question is whether the paper will always have so many followers when this “digital natives” will reach the age to be bibliophiles?
Maybe what is more for this new generation, the expression ” to turn over a new leaf” will be transformed there “to refresh the page”, more adequate to what defines the current digital page.
Be up to date; turn in a loop; the record is crossed off: will these expressions have only another sense tomorrow? Or will they have become unusual since the progressive disappearance of their support? Mp3 haveov taken an important place in the current musical consumption, it is logically that the market of the Compact disc tends to disappear. Already met phenomenon there are more than about twenty year with the extinction of the vinyl for the benefit of Said CD.
For the book and the appearance of its malefic double: the digital book, it is about a similar foundation. Real debate, the dematerialization of the book causes(provokes) the same debates today which enamelled the passage in the digital photography and in the dematerialized music. Paper book(pound) Vs digital book there will be there only one, which? And why not both if we take into account economic data and sociological?
The paper book, the museum piece or the collector’s edition?
In the coming years, we are going to observe a “collector’s” future of the paper book in front of development of his digital antagonist? It is also the difference: the material. Between paper and digital support, the material entraine this clear quality gap, the paper becomes a luxury object in the face of a dematerialized support. Actually, hypothetically, it is not impossible that the digital book comes to replace the paperback.
The future of the book, the Print-On Demand?
A complete report has just been made in May by the Association of College and Research libraries on “the scenarios for the future of the book”.
It explores 4 alternatives with which can be confronted the book. Since almost disappearance of the paper book for the benefit of the digital technology or mutually, the failure of the ebook because of a too expensive technology and which does not convince the readers, certain data are however common to all the scenarios:
- The technology of the printed books does not go out but occupies a position, a different function (let us remember ourselves that even if the electricity produces the light, candles kept a status mattering in our company)
- The readers of books are less numerous
- A new phenomenon expands: Print-On Demand.
In 2020, the creation and the publication of books will be less expensive and easier. We shall not find any more only authors’ big names: a lot of people unknowns will self-publish their own paper books to share their papers with friends or to keep a track of things, facts. In these conditions the ISBN will not be any more an essential component of the book and there will be more and more titles of books of fiction, short stories, poems, theories.
The authors will continue to find that the paper book is more taken seriously than his digital counterpart and the paper books will become the new business cards. Leave me your book, I would tell you what you are worth.
The world could thus continue to be invaded by the paper book and it ironically made possible by the digital technologies.