What’s the Future of Books, Nowadays?

17 02 2012

The future of books, today

There is much talk of bright tomorrows for publishing at New York’s Digital Book World expo, but how optimistic are readers?

While we’ve all been thinking about Andrew Miller and the Costa’s new enthusiasm short stories and Rushdie’s troubles in Jaipur, in New York, publishers have been looking to the future.

Many reports from the Digital Book World conference are brimming with positivity, with the independent publisher Dominique Raccah singing the praises of books created “at the end of a community-building process”, the author and futurist David Houle celebrating the astonishing fact that “more books [were] published this week than … in all of 1950” and Barnes and Noble’s James Hilt suggesting that the flood of data sweeping through an industry which is finally catching up with the digital age “helps us all”. But gloom isn’t that far behind – optimism “wanes” when executives are asked about the future for publishing and readers alike.

Continue reading @ The Guardian





Books and their future

11 01 2012


The many futures of books

There are exciting innovations afoot in both digital and conventional publishing

My prediction about books in the early years of the 21st century: readers, writers, and bibliophiles in general will look back on the cross-fertilisation of the digital world with the global recession, and marvel at the strange fruit that flourished in the paradise of texts.

Consider the following evidence. In Notting Hill, the Redstone Press, an independent devoted to exquisite design and quirky conceptual innovation, published Will Hobson’s The Household Box, a book-in-a-box manufactured in China. Just down the road, Unbound launched the first of its new hardbacks, Terry Jones’s Evil Machines, a sequence of 13 stories about the hidden perils of technology. And finally, Penguin announced it was about to launch a series of short books (novellas, stories, non-fiction) as ebooks for £1.99.

Read full article @ The Guardian