Are paper books worth saving?

bookshelves

Are paper books worth saving? Now that electronic books are becoming an unstoppable force, it’s a question worth asking.

We’re no longer reading papyrus scrolls so why isn’t it unrealistic to think that paper books may become just as extinct? Ink on paper is just a medium. One that’s been around for centuries, but there is a long history of media that have died off.

This columnist argues that paper books are not worth fighting for. She argues that electronic books are not killing the publishing industry and may end up being its salvation and lists some reasons why. What she fails to discuss is the elephant in the room over book piracy.

Pirating books was once a difficult task, but new technologies have made it a breeze and pirated editions are so common that they are poised to completely devalue all books. Unlike the music industry where musicians can at least make a living from concerts, authors don’t have such an option.

Some publishers are experimenting with different subscription models, such as science fiction imprint Angry Robot which is offering readers an annual subscription which gives them access to every title published in a year. It’s an intriguing idea, but it will ultimately be hard to compete with free.

It makes you wonder why anyone would ever want to be a writer. As this essayist points out, it’s not good for you.