I loved this illustration from the article:
In this illustration books and the internet are seen as co-existing. I think that this is the way that things are likely to be for quite some time.
I do agree with Damien Walter that any revolution has to overcome the fears and negative attitudes from those who have a vested interest in the maintenance of the old technology. He is right to point out the advantages of freeing up accessibility of the written word to the widest possible audience can transform our future.
I also understand that it will not happen overnight. There will be many of us who were born into an environment of books and who have associated books as a pleasure not just because of what is written but in terms of the feel of a book in your hands.
I have recently tried to transform the majority of my reading to electronic. I have downloaded a Kindle App which I use on my android phone and on my netbook. I have read classics such as Oliver Twist as well as some excellent new works by Howard Gardner, Malcolm Gladwell and John Seely Brown. I have though missed the feel of books, the ability that they give me to wander back through the pages and glance forward at what is to come.
I understand only too well that I am living in the midst of a major revolution, that the book will become a museum object in the future and that future generations will know the printed word (which will still have much significance) through electronic means only. I am though, a child of the book and saying goodbye to it is difficult. My generation will die out in the same way that the priests who chained the books to the alters of the churches of the middle ages died out when a new device called the printing press changed their world (and ultimately mine) forever.
- Will books and the net merge? (guardian.co.uk)