Long Live the Printed Word

For all the hype about e-books and e-readers, along with news coverage about brick-and-mortar bookstores closing, it may come as a surprise that more printed books are still being consumed than e-books. Though a tipping point may soon come, the printed word still reigns.

Despite this trend towards digital, there will always be a place for the printed word. As a justification for this assessment, I cite Star Trek. Yes, I’m using a sci-fi show to predict the future.

While e-readers and the electronic dissemination of information are the norm on Star-Trek — as it is becoming for us — printed books are not absent in the sci-fi future. As I recall, both Kirk and Picard enjoy reading hardcover books.

While this may be largely a nostalgic effort to connect to the past and experience the tactile pleasure of touching what we read, of taking in the sweet smell of paper and ink, it’s a yearning that will not go away — not for future fictional space travelers, the writers behind them, or for us.

To paraphrase Spock, “May books live long and prosper.”

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