We've been seeing a lot of recent chatter about near-future predicitions for ebooks and the epub industry (not just for books, but for magazines, newspapers, etc.). The predictions are dire for brick-and-mortar establishments that rely on printed material. Of course we're already seeing the writing on the wall. Newspapers and magazines are folding or moving their subscriptions to an online model.
But what about the consumer? What about the people who like a good old-fashioned newspaper with their coffee in the morning? Or the person who loves the smell and feel of a printed book in-hand? Are they going to have to wrangle an iPod or some other electronic varmint to get their daily dose of reading material? The soothsayers say ... yes ... eventually.
No one knows for sure what is going to take place, but if technology proceeds on its present course, in another ten years (or sooner) there may not be newsPAPERS anymore. There will be newsREADERS. And the same goes for books, magazines, and other reading material.
Not only will the format be electronic, but there may be added content, like video and audio. Perhaps eventually remote-transfer direct brain input. Of course that still sounds like science fiction. For now, we'll settle for a free light saber with our self-projecting holograms, ala Star Wars...
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