January 27, 2013

Is the word "book" on the verge of extinction?

Seriously, will the word "book" fade away? Who the heck buys books these days? I certainly don't. In fact, I doubt I'll buy another physical book in my lifetime. And if I do, it will be because the damn book publisher failed to produce an ebook.

In the e-publishing era, we may not use the word "book" anymore. We'd say we're reading a novel, or a horror story, a screenplay, or a collection of short stories. After all, what would it mean to say we're reading a "book"?

What the heck is a book? It's merely a physical thing, the product book publishers used to produce before people stopped buying their wares. So is "book" a soon-to-be useless term?

The meaning of the word won't fade away completely, of course. We'll always refer to the historical existence of libraries that contained wall-to-wall books. We'll always know what that meant. And some people will inherit books from their grandparents. But will we use the term in our daily lives? I'm not sure. I think at first we will. But in ten or twenty years?

What do you think?

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