General Question

pleiades's avatar

When will print be dead?

Asked by pleiades (4929 points ) February 7th, 2013

What are the major speculations?

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14 Answers

dabbler's avatar

If you mean news and entertainment on dead-tree paper, that’s going to continue to diminish to the point that you’ll only find such a thing for special events. Print on paper will become an artform like fine-art painting has since photography came along. For more durable works it will be on hemp instead of tree paper since that lasts longer.

Flyers and coupons and handouts will be on some kind of paper until it’s cheaper to hand someone information some other way.

If you mean any kind of print on any kind of surface then that will stick around and not die. There’s always signage if nothing else.

Seek's avatar

I admit, I fear this day happening. It might be why my living room looks like a used-book-store that happens to have a couch and TV in it.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Never. Yes, the trend today is towards mass reading on electronic means, but there will always – forever – be paper as an option. And that’s the way it should be.

For one thing, e-books on a Kindle (or whatever) require two things: first, an electrical connection to recharge the batteries, and second, they are in some way dependent on a third party’s server for purchasing the item. Suppose the power is out for a week? How do you recharge your Kindle so you can read? Suppose the server at Amazon crashes? Or Amazon goes out of business? Or your internet connection is down? How do you get around that?

I own about 10 e-books and about 400 paper books. That’s a good ratio for me.

LuckyGuy's avatar

What were you reading and recording upon 12 years ago? Notebooks, books, 3.5 ” floppies with Windows 3.x and Wordperfect. The only things that you can read today are the books and notebooks. 50 years from now those books and notebooks will still be legible. HD, USB stick, optical drives will be ancient history, relegated to the dust bin. Cloud storage will have changed so many times our ancestors will wonder what the term “google” meant. Is it from “Barney Google with the goo goo googly eyes.”?
Google, Facebook, Yahoo, MySpace and any other online storage service will be long gone and replaced by others many times over, each using different formats so customers will need to pay for retrieval. We will know what “fuhgettaboutit” means.
Those books and notebooks will still be around and legible until the seas rise and wash us away.

I use the print newspaper to wrap trash and start my wood burning stove. Despite the apt name, it would be cost prohibitive to use my Kindle Fire for that purpose.

ScottyMcGeester's avatar

I will fear the day that happens. It will probably be a really long time, considering books are still an industry. I’m thinking in centuries it might actually go out and things like touch pads and touch screens will be the norm.

Crumpet's avatar

I don’t think it will.
It will diminish significantly like a lot of things.
But people who love to read will always have a special spot in thier hearts for the printed word; like a lot of photographers still love to shoot film.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Print for media money has decreased steadily and will bottom out soon, probably after the baby boomers pass away.

Print for pleasure (books), unfortunately, will go the same route eventually in my opinion.

orlando's avatar

Never (I hope). Why?

1. Energy shortages
As @elbanditoroso has mentioned digital media requires an electrical connection to recharge the batteries. We live in a world of diminishing energy returns (Google peak oil, peak coal, etc.), meaning less available energy in the future in a world of growing energetic needs. Sure, Kindle doesn’t take much, but the whole idea of digitalizing every aspect of our society will look much different in a world of energetic shortages and electrical blockouts.

2. Self Publishing
Publishing a book used to take an enormous amount of resources and required the cooperation of editors, publishing company, etc. That has changed radically in the last decade as now everybody can self-publish their own book using print on demanded services (Google POD)—which feels and looks as good as any “normally” printed book.

Saying that I am biased against Kindle and digital readers. To me, there’s nothing like a feeling of a good, hard book in your hands ;-)

muhammajelly's avatar

after lp0 on fire

rojo's avatar

Not for another generation at least, probably two. There are still too many folks around that enjoy the feel and heft of a good book.

flutherother's avatar

My Kindle is starting to gather dust.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Print dead? I’ll believe it when I see it in writing.

Adagio's avatar

I don’t believe print will ever die.

mattbrowne's avatar

The same time all pens are dead.

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