Now that e-book readers no longer suck as much as they once did, all sorts of people are prophesying the death of the physical book. Nicholas Negroponte told the Techonomy Conference in Lake Tahoe, CA, that paper books were already dead, and people just don't realize it. "It's happening. It not happening in 10 years. It's happening in 5 years," he added. But over at Crunchgear, Devin Coldeway explains why it may take a whole lot longer than that. And of course, physical books won't ever really die, they'll just experience the same transformation that's already hit magazines — they'll become luxury items. Coldeway's whole essay is worth checking out. [Crunchgear]
5 years? Ok, definitely not. There's just something special when it comes to holding a physical book in your hand and reading it wherever you want, anytime, any day. You can scribble on it, make notes, things that you couldn't possibly do with an electronic one. There's just something about the character of a physical book that makes it so appealing.
I think the best compromise we could make for the future is being able to buy a book and being given a code to download it for free in an e-book, the same way some movies are bought in DVD/Blu-Ray.
Maybe print books will be dead within 300 years, when we're all just virtual beings inside some planet-size mega-computer gizmagigy. Until then, print books are here to stay.