Books In 10 Years: Will Books Become Obsolete?
Whether you’re an avid reader, a student, or a professional who reads for career advancement, the book-buying market seems to be shifting less towards physical books than it did years ago. People now find it more convenient to read books on their mobile devices, tablets, or computers through different digital reading formats like EPUB and MOBI. Is it possible that books could become obsolete in 10 years?
Electronic reading formats are easier to get, less expensive, and easily accessed compared to hardcover books. This fact begs not only the question, “Will books become obsolete?” but also “When will books become obsolete?” It is no surprise that more readers are turning to online formats in the present world with the many advancements of modern technology. But, will books really become a thing of the past? Read this article to find out.
What Are Books?
Books are a medium of storing and sharing information and stories to instill knowledge or provide entertainment. Printed paper books were first released in Latin in the 15th century. They are used for various purposes, including education, recording information in writing and images, memory improvement, vocabulary building, and pleasure.
Books have been an essential part of society for a long time but are slowly declining significantly since the invention of technology as more people are losing interest.
Will Books Be Replaced by Future Technology?
Technology cannot entirely replace books, but there will be a significant reduction in physical books in the world. The world is going fully digital, and everyone now uses technology to complete several tasks, including reading. The demand for books printed on paper is declining, but digital books are becoming more popular as there are now ebooks that people turn to when reading for either pleasure or education.
However, books may remain relevant in the academic world as research shows that students still like to print PDF files to study. Reading with mobile devices or computers can be pretty strenuous for students, so institutions will always need to provide an alternative option.
People might subscribe to using more digital devices than reading copies of books in the near future, but books will not be entirely replaced by technology. There will be less book usage and more ebooks, but they will not go completely obsolete.
Ebooks Are Taking Over
Ebooks are more in circulation than physical books for many reasons, as the book industry has seen a decline in book sales. According to Statista, the ebook industry rakes in tons of money every year, with total sales of $1.1 billion. This figure is also expected to continue to grow, proving how popular the digital book business has become in recent years.
Books Are Getting More Expensive
Physical books are getting more expensive with time due to the increased cost of material resources needed to print a book and pay for authors’ royalties, transit costs, and return shipping. These factors added together on a daily basis influence the cost of books significantly.
Ebooks Are More Easily Shared
Why buy a book when you can just share one? Ebooks are easy to share and distribute, making them more accessible for some people. You can even find free PDF versions of your favorite novels online. This especially comes in handy if you live in, say, San Francisco, and you think your friend would love this book, but they live in New York. It’s cheaper and easier to share a digital book than a printed one.
Technologies and Trends That Could Make Books Obsolete
Multiple technologies and trends are making people switch from reading paper books to using ebooks and social media. These trends make it easier for people to access information and gain knowledge without getting a printed book.
An ebook is a book publication converted to digital format and can be read on mobile phones, tablets, or computers. The first ebook was launched decades ago but only became popular in the 2000s when people started trading for ebooks on the Internet. They have become even more popular, with many youths reading them and not paper books.
Social media first gained popularity in 1997, with the first social media platform, sixdegrees.com, dropped online, and people could connect and make friends. Several social media platforms today give people easy access to information, making them lose interest in reading. These platforms have taken over as the favorite hobby of most and have replaced reading books.
With the pandemic disrupting the world as we know it, online classes and bootcamps have become the norm, with many educational systems adopting this method to teach students. The exponential rise of online courses and MOOCs has further increased the use of digital devices for studying, decreasing the need for physical books even more. Sometimes we need to learn without contact, and the only way to accomplish that is by reading ebooks.
When Will Books Become Obsolete?
Books may start to become obsolete in the coming years, but will not completely go away. There will be more use of ebooks than physical books, but there will always be a need for printed books. In public schools, middle school and high school kids may still need to learn using books, not digital devices, but college students may be more inclined to use ebooks.
Those who read as a hobby will more likely read ebooks, but those who are fascinated by hardcovers will continue to collect books due to the pleasure of reading through the physical medium. This joy is one of the reasons why online reading formats will never entirely replace books.
What This Means for Businesses
The reduced sale of books will affect publishing, printing, and book companies equally. They will have to increase the price of books due to the increase in the cost of printing materials, making it even more difficult for people to buy books or drive sales.
Businesses Will Have to Pay More to Publish Books
The publishing industry will be affected because fewer people will buy books, and the cost of publishing will increase even more. When combined with the increased cost of printing, publishing companies and authors will need to spend more to get the books out for sale and make less in profits due to people not buying as much as necessary.
Authors Will Make Less
When people are not buying books as much, authors will make less money from book sales. The salary that authors get is from books sales, which will be significantly reduced if books become entirely obsolete. There is also the issue of piracy, which could become more popular with the world using ebooks, causing authors to lose even more money.
Books Will Become More Expensive
If publishing companies, printing companies, books stores, and authors are no longer making so much in profits, it is only natural for books to become even more expensive. If they do become even more expensive than they presently are, it will significantly impact the art market and even public schools’ access to textbooks.
Do Books Have a Future?
Yes, books have a future, even though it might be bleak. Books are needed within public schools for students that cannot access ebooks. Before the digital revolution, books were an essential part of society and were more than a hobby. People needed to read books to learn and grow. However, social media and ebooks have taken over, and some people have lost interest in books.
Although, there are still people who read books and enjoy them, regardless of how few they may be. Some people enjoy collecting books to grow their library and for the pleasure of owning hardcovers. These people are why books might not wholly be replaced by technology even though books might become a little less popular.
Digital devices aren’t comfortable to read, as they affect the eyes and make it easier to get headaches while trying to enjoy a novel. Also, printed books are more durable and long-lasting, allowing them to be passed down for decades.
Will Books Become Obsolete? FAQ
Books are losing popularity globally, with most adults reading more ebooks than physical books. However, some people will always prefer reading a physical book versus an online format, and public schools will always need physical book copies for students.
Books are not dying out but have significantly reduced sales and relevance as more people turn to digital reading formats and ebook readership numbers increase.
Reading will never become obsolete as it is one of the essentials of life. Physical books help kids through college, but the future of college education has become more virtual since the COVID-19 pandemic. Though books may become insignificant, reading itself cannot die.
Yes, books have a future but not a very bright one. Looking at recent book sales versus increased ebook sales, it seems like readers prefer online mediums to printed books.