Home > Oak Knoll Books, Oak Knoll Press > The book isn’t dying; it’s digitizing

The book isn’t dying; it’s digitizing

Print runs are shrinking and unit costs are growing, we’re told. Texts are now tweets, and looking over your shoulder no longer reveals the identities of those “following” you.

Throughout this technological transition, the publishing process remains the same: write, read, revise, design, discuss, repeat. Good writing remains a universal driver of productivity. Yet, I can’t help but find today’s intermediary industry fascinating.

True, I’ll always dote upon my overstuffed bookshelves much like Gollum does upon his “Precious.” And I will forever prefer thumbing through a dog-eared copy of my favorite novel over scanning its text on a pixilated computer screen. But the web’s unprecedented scope takes the publishing industry to an entirely new level.

Technology enhances product discoverability and expands existing audiences. It also preserves texts subject to deterioration and permits cheesy romance novel enthusiasts to read on in public unscathed. Books (and their evil e-book offspring) are both made to inform, inspire, record and admire. The insurgent e-book, though guilty of providing an inferior reader experience, can’t be blamed if the book industry suddenly suffers an onset of organ failure. Not yet, at least.

Book purists, fear not: the book industry is alive and kicking and will be for many generations to come.

To sum up, in 140 characters or less, the book isn’t dying; it’s digitizing. Gradually.

-Julia

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