A Stereotype Future? Do paperback books have a future?

Sitting in a pub with a good friend, Newcastle was winning against Everton, we exchanged Christmas gifts (slightly belated due to family commitments).

Bottle of wine and a good read for my friend; for me, Richard Dawkin’s “The God Delusion” – brilliant! Delighted with my gift and he with his, my friend, while taking a sip of his pint, pops an interesting question: Do you think there’ll be books in the future?

My response was blunt, brusque at best: bien sûr!

I recently bumped into an old acquaintance in a Paris bookshop. We decided to have a café and a quick catch-up. To my dismay, he delightfully divulged the dismal future in store for the printed press: failing business models; low profits and low readership; no hope for the printed newspaper. I proclaimed my love for print media and alluded to instances when holding a newspaper in one’s hands is nothing but sheer bliss (namely sitting on the Champs Élysées, drinking a café-au-lait and working my way through Le Monde).

Having become the proud owner of a new iPad this Christmas, my initial opinion of those who saw no future for the printed press (and the opinion wasn’t, let say, ‘kosher’) has quickly changed. Since unpacking the tablet on Christmas Day, I’ve downloaded e-editions of my favourite newspapers everyday, I’ve transferred a number of favourite reads, and I’ve downloaded a myriad new best sellers.

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