Goodbye Books

So I started off my day scanning around on CNN.com and came across this story and video.  Author Nicholas Negroponte believes that physical books will be a thing of the past.  I watched the entire video online and read the article.  Negroponte founded "One Laptop, One Child" in 2005 with the goal of providing cheap, Internet ready notebook computers to every school aged child in the world.  He does make some good points,  especially regarding how cheaper and easier it is to provide eBooks to readers, especially in developing countries.

As I sat in the Flat Rock Library this evening reading, I took a second to look around and think, could this all be replaced by Kindles and iPads in just a few years?  The physical book, gone forever.  No more Barnes and Noble or Borders?  No more physical newspapers or magazines.  With the cost of digital readers dropping by the month, the price point is bound to reach a number that makes physical books a waste of money.  Still, I do not know how I feel about "curling up" with a iPad or Kindle.  What about "reading material" in the bathroom?  Nobody wants to bring a iPad in there right?  Or how about those great picture books we all loved as kids?  It is just not the same unless you are flipping those pages of Where the Wild Things Are or The Very Hungry Caterpillar while curled up in bed with your kids. 

I think books (and physical print) have a few more years left.  More than five.  However, I agree with Negroponte that the books days are numbered.  What do you think?  Will textbooks be a thing of the past, and each student will have their own iPad to carry around?  Will story time involve a touch screen tablet?  When the Lions win their first Superbowl will a print edition of the Detroit Free Press even exist?  Hmmmmm.....

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