Say Kaddish for the Printed Book?

The printed book is nearly dead. The print newspaper is dying. The Internet delivers words and images everywhere to every device at any time.

Soon it may make as much sense to call a treatise or novel a "book" as it now makes no sense to refer to a "dial" tone when you pick up a telephone. Bound paper tomes are already a relic of the past.

Google is ready to put more nails in the coffin. Reports are that Penguin, a unit of Pearson Group PLC (PSO), Harper Collins, a unit of News Corp. (NWS), and Simon & Schuster, a unit of CBC Corp. (CBS) are are preparing to partner with Google. The Sunday Times (London) has the story:
Google plots e-books coup
Dominic Rushe

GOOGLE and some of the world’s top publishers are working on plans that they hope could do for books what Apple’s iPod has done for music.

The internet search giant is working on a system that would allow readers to download entire books to their computers in a format that they could read on screen or on mobile devices such as a Blackberry.

With 380m people using Google each month, the move would give a significant boost to the development of e-books and have a big impact on the publishing industry and book retailers.

Jens Redmer, director of Google Book Search in Europe, said: “We are working on a platform that will let publishers give readers full access to a book online.”

He did not believe taking books online would mean the end of the printed word but it would give readers more options when it came to buying. “You may just want to rent a travel guide for the holiday or buy a chapter of a book. Ultimately, it will be the readers who decide how books are read,” he said.

He added that after many years of setbacks the electronic book looked poised to go main-stream. Commuters in Japan were already reading entire novels on their mobile phones....(read more).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Since I print out all of your posts, having collected them into a giant book, this news doesn't really affect me much. (smirk)