(02/19/2011)
COMMENT by Bob Weaver

Borders Bookstores filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection this week, with a promise to re-configured their operation and return. Some stores will stay open.

While the recession has taken a toll on book sales, the future of the book is in question, along with newspapers and magazines, in their paper-printed form.

The WV Department of Education has said it won't be long that published textbooks will no longer be used in public education, supplanted by laptop computers or readers that will have the information.

Some of you are saying you would never give up the physical book that you hold in your hand and turn the pages.

Many of you said that your wanted your own CDs, tapes, and records, but now you're downloading music, particularly when you discovered you could get "albums" for half the price without leaving the house.

Most people are now getting their written news via the Internet.

The same thing will happen with books.

You can preview chapters of a book, which you can buy the Internet version for less money. There's even a new device called a Kindle, for those who want to hold something while they read.

You can browse tens of thousands of books on-line.

Younger folks don't read newspapers (and most aren't reading books), and certainly don't subscribe to newspapers.

Consider the rise in mobile Internet devices and e-readers.

While newspapers and news magazines are fading, the free stuff that most have become accustomed, will no longer be free.

Despite being an active Internet reader, I continue to tell myself that I still want to hold a book, a magazine or my daily paper in my hands, while I drink my tea and coffee.

But then, I must keep in mind all those futuristic things I said I'd never own or use, I have.


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