The December 1 issue of Forbes.com features an interesting collection of essays about books and book publishing. From the introduction:
Are books in danger?
The conventional wisdom would say yes. After all, more and more media--the Internet, cable television, satellite radio, videogames--compete for our time. And the Web in particular, with its emphasis on textual snippets, skimming and collaborative creation, seems ill-suited to nurture the sustained, authoritative transmission of complex ideas that has been the historical purview of the printed page.
But surprise--the conventional wisdom is wrong. Our special report on books and the future of publishing is brim-full of reasons to be optimistic. People are reading more, not less. The Internet is fueling literacy. Giving books away online increases off-line readership. New forms of expression--wikis, networked books--are blossoming in a digital hothouse.
People still burn books. But that only means that books are still dangerous enough to destroy. And if people want to destroy them, they are valuable enough that they will endure.
Posted by P. Kaufman at December 4, 2006 2:55 PM