Books have a future, but not in storytelling

In an ever expanding technological world, the future of books has been questioned incessantly. Where does something as old-fashioned as a book lie when there is the constant invention of new, innovative gadgets?

The creation of technology, such as Kindles and tablets, seems to have replaced the tangible, printed books. People can read stories online rather than having to buy the actual book. The invention of the Kindle enables readers to keep all of their books in one place without taking up a huge amount of space and it also means that they can pay a smaller amount of money for the same title as they do not need to pay for the paper. Does this mean that books will become nothing more than a romantic memory?


“Books definitely have a future. Recent sales and distribution show that books are coming back into circulation. Sales have increased in the past 24 months.” Máire Griffin, from The Winding Stair bookshop in Dublin, said to The College View.


She also agreed that there was a period of time over the past five years, when sales plummeted as everybody turned to electronic devices but she believes ‘books will always have a place in our lives’.


A company called Books by the Foot has emerged and it allows buyers to purchase a linear foot of books at a set price to match the interior design of their chosen room. You select a broad subject and the colour you want and then the company chooses the books to complete your collection. The authors and titles are an irrelevant factor that does not matter to the buyers.


The colours and styles are the most significant feature as the purpose of these collections is to complement the interior design of the home. As long as the cover of the book reflects the vibe of the room then that is all that matters. While this can be useful when devising a room, does it mean that books will evolve into a mere decorative ornament?


Charles E Roberts, the president of Books by the Foot and Wonder Book, said: “Books have had a decorative as well as informative function. For hundreds of years people all over the world have built beautiful shelves and libraries to display books.”


“If a book is no longer viable as a reading or informative copy we try to find a place for it with designers, decorators (and) prop masters who will put them on display prolonging their existence as books. So, sorting books to be marketed as decorative objects is a secondary object. The ‘last resort’ to keep that book as a ‘book’,” he said to The College View.


Shauna Bowers

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