At least that’s the current story people are telling. But Ben Ehrenreich puts it in a broader context. He obviously loves the book (more than I, if you can imagine such a thing!):
I adore few humans more than I love books. I make no promises, but I do not expect to purchase a Kindle or a Nook or any of their offspring. I hope to keep bringing home bound paper books until my shelves snap from their weight, until there is no room in my apartment for a bed or a couch or another human being, until the floorboards collapse and my eyes blur to dim.
I own a Nook (recently acquired, to be sure), read books on my Ipod Touch and PC Kindle readers from time to time, am converting elements of my theological library (reference things, primarily) to electronic format, and have even read some general html and PDF formatted books from time to time. Despite all that, there is something wonderful about the book – that tactile and sensate relationship one can have with them. And they fill my house, though perhaps not quite as much as Ehrenreich describes. At the same time, I think he is right to expect a more complicated future, and wishing for the good old days will not make them return (a lesson for us in so many areas of life). This paragraph captures the thought nicely:
Instead we shuttle between two equally hollow poles: goofball digital boosterism a la Negroponte on one side and on the other a helpless, anguished nostalgia for the good old days of papercuts. Call it bibilionecrophilia: the retreat of the print-faithful into a sort of autistic fetishization of the book-as-object—as if Jeff Bezos could be convinced to lay e-profits aside by recalling for a moment the soft, woody aroma of a yellow-paged Grove Press paperback; as if there were nothing more to books than paper, ink, and glue.
Worth a read and reflection.
H/t Karin Bergsagel at the Bookthink blog.