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.”

Peter DeHaan is an author, publisher, and editor. He gives back to the writing community through this blog. Get insider info from his monthly newsletter. Sign up today!

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