The Future Of The Book

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Print is dead.

By now we are all familiar with this refrain.

It is undeniable that print is changing—its prevalence, utility, and availability is undergoing an enormous and unprecedented shift in the digital era. But this fear, the fear that the physical form of the book will one day —perhaps one day very soon— vanish from our hands, the beloved weight and tactile experience of ink and paper replaced with glowing screens and incorporeal pixels… well, I do not buy into this fear.

The role of print is certainly becoming something other than what it has been, but I wonder if rather than being rendered obsolete, its future form and function are more likely to be elevated—revered. Will the ephemeral, mutable qualities of digital media leave us craving the (relative) physical permanence of the codex and the crisp elegance of ink upon bound pages? Maybe the future of the book is… the book.

Or is all hope lost?


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