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Re: Books of the Future
- To: BOOK_ARTS-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
- Subject: Re: Books of the Future
- From: Thomas Larque <thomas_larque@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Sun, 12 Apr 1998 17:14:18 +0100
- Message-id: <199804121629.JAA17278@SUL-Server-2.Stanford.edu>
- Sender: "Book_Arts-L: On the web at http://www.dreamscape.com/pdverhey" <BOOK_ARTS-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> I don't want to sound like a naysayer, because I adore
> books. But what if you simply couldn't buy the paper
> books you wanted? I can't help thinking about the fact
> that all of us have seen one format replace another in
> this lifetime, in a different media, when the CD
> succeeded the LP.
I've been arguing this line with most of my postings on this subject.
However, even if no new paper books were published (something which, as I
have suggested, is quite possible if the Publishers find more profit in a
new form), it would not make the books that already exist disappear.
I would :
1) Still have my own library, currently more than a thousand books
2) Could still buy antiquarian and secondhand books while supplies
lasted, and these represent at least half of my collection
> So I wouldn't completely rule out the disappearance of
> the book from the world as we know it...
Neither would I ... see all my earlier postings.
But there are more secondhand books in existence than there were ever
secondhand LPs (there were fewer records in the first place, and they were
much more likely to break or be thrown away), and at the moment that paper
books became unpopular the secondhand book market would be absolutely
flooded with cheap texts, as people dumped their own libraries and those of
their relatives as they passed away.
Whatever happens to new books, the old book market is pretty much assured
for some time to come - and yes, it might move from bookshops to classified
or even searching rubbish dumps.
And the more that supply outdoes demand, the better the deal that secondhand
book purchasers (as opposed to booksellers) are likely to get.
And my own library will last at least as long as I do, because whatever
happens I'm not going to give it away.