Thursday, July 21, 2011

Books - The New Luxury Item

A recent guest speaker talked about the love of physical objects as it related to books. The printed, bound book is a work of art, and people like having them on their shelves. And this particular industry expert does not believe that print books are going to disappear anytime soon. In fact, no one is really expecting the printed book to completely vanish and be replaced by ebooks, but this speaker was very optimistic. "People will always want books," he said, "they are the next big luxury item."

Um.....excuse me? Luxury item? .....books?
Books!? I grew up in a house that has piles of books in every room. Even the kitchen was usually overrun by books that us kids were carrying around and leaving all over the place, usually leading my father to innocently pick them up and ask a series of questions instead of reading the cover copy. My parents were also one of the first people to jump on this new online retailer called, and we still have a magnet on our fridge that features the first logo for the online giant. So for someone who grew up surrounded by piles and piles of books of all different shapes, sizes, and colors, the idea of the book becoming a luxury item is a strange one. It's just as strange as thinking that the mass market paperback is doomed, or that Borders Bookstore is going to close forever. But both of them are probably just as true, and I'm not entirely sure how I feel about it.

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