Future of Books

Ron Force writes:The Washington Post has a very interesting Article entitled \"The Last Book: The Future of WordsThe future of reading, writing, storytelling, the words we use and the very way we think just might be a crotchety old guy named Harvey Ross, the inventor of the Bookbuilder, a machine that produces bound books on demand from electronic files. Imagine a PAPER copy of ANY book EVER written in your library!
To anyone who reads, Ross\'s apparatus is remarkable not only because it promises to print, bind, trim and deliver just about any book you want from any era in any language in five minutes. More important, it is at ground zero of the most earth-shaking, tradition-breaking revolution in publishing in more than 500 years, a techtonic shift in the way books are made, bought, sold and ultimately, perhaps, rendered obsolete.


The BookBuilder is only one primitive example of the complete, complex and ever-changing digital make-over of the $24 billion idea-publishing industry. Slightly more advanced are electronic reading gizmos cobbled together by two companies, NuvoMedia\'s Rocket eBook and SoftBook. Several firms, including Microsoft (who else?), are developing software that will allow folks to read books on anything with a screen.


Random House, the largest trade publisher in America, is digitizing every one of its 20,000 titles. Other publishing giants such as Simon & Schuster and McGraw-Hill are not far behind.

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