Photo Credit: The Old Book Exchange by Liz West

Photo Credit: The Old Book Exchange by Liz West

Gartner’s Andrea Di Maio writes a really great sentence in The Dark Side Of E-Books. Mr. Di Maio discusses the inevitable consequences of e-books replacing physical books. Here are some of his thoughts:

  • bookshelves will be eliminated from our homes and office
  • underlined and highlighted text from a borrowed book, from a friend or relative, makes the book come alive
  • bookstores will gradually disappear,”where your senses are captured by the view, the touch, the sound, the smell of thousands of books and their pages”
  • reading a physical book on planes and buses tells others about us

Will technology help keep this alive? Mr. Di Maio suggests “maybe the cover page of the book we are reading will be shown on the oled screen on the cover of our e-book” or “will we see our guest’s virtual libraries projected on our glasses?”

Here is that sentence that is so great. It ends the paragraph about personal libraries: “Yet, in the vast majority of cases, the warmth of books that you can glance through to get a feel of a person’s taste can’t be matched or compensated even by the coolest technology toy.”

Here is my own thought about bookstores gradually disappearing. There is something deep, a reverence, a sense of respect and appreciation, for those of us who love books, when entering a bookstore (similar to entering a library). This is what I would miss the most if bookstores and physical books were to truly disappear.

A related post –The Last Big Bookseller Standing: Barnes & Noble