Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Physical Book in 50 Years

Here's a metaphor for how we'll think of books in fifty years: like candles.

We use candles now to mark special occasions, for a sense of cozy old-school nostalgia, for atmospherics, for decor, and in a pinch for their original use when the power goes out. But most of the time, when you really want to get something done, you flip a light switch.

In the future, physical books will also be used to mark special occasions (they'll be souvenirs) and to decorate your apartment and for atmospherics and nostalgia, and in a pinch when your computer or portable data device is on the fritz. But most of the time, when you're really going to want to get something read, you'll just turn on your Kindle/iPhone/magic-electronic-gizmo.

6 comments:

John M. Jackson said...

Yes, but e-readers don't burn quite as gloriously as books. I can't imagine a good Southern book-burning with a pile of Kindles. ;-)

AGW said...

Ain't it grand, though, that they're called "Kindles"? As in kindling? I'm sure that they want to ignite readership, but perhaps they have some incendiary feelings toward the codex form as well...

C said...

You've made me very sad on a Friday, AGW. Very sad. Plus, "Candle in the Wind" is now in my head. And not even the good one. I'm thinking the Princess Diana version.

AGW said...

I thought about naming the post "Candle in the Wind," but that did seem a bit melodramatic.

Tim Zajac said...

Uh, it's just a metaphor and all, but... does this mean that when I want to set the mood for "sexy time" (Borat style) in fifty years, I'm going to want to burn scented books?

david said...

What do you mean by that?
Is that related to fashion like the New York Wardrobe?