It's Kindle, and other e-readers, vs. The Book.
Published: August 20
by Linton Weeks
The premise of Lane Smith's new work for children, It’s a Book, is simple: Books are under siege.
On the first page a donkey asks a monkey, "What do you have there?" The monkey replies: "It’s a book."
"How do you scroll down?" the donkey asks. "Do you blog with it?"
Then he asks: "Where’s your mouse? ... Can you make characters fight? ... Can it text? ... Tweet? ... Wi-Fi? ... Can it do this? TOOT!"
No, the monkey repeatedly replies. "It’s a book."
Smith's book, in stores this month, may be an example of a dying breed. A book, published -- and meant to be read -- on paper.
People have been talking about "the death of the book" for more than a decade. But recent events suggest the end may be imminent for bound-paper books as we have known them for more than 500 years. Hardbound and paperback books may never totally disappear, but they could become scary scarce -- like eight-track tapes, typewriters and wooden tennis rackets.
In July, Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos announced that his customers now buy more digital versions of stories -- designed for Amazon's proprietary reading tablet, the Kindle -- than they do hardcover books. That is an astonishing fact, Bezos said, "when you consider that we've been selling hardcover books for 15 years, and Kindle books for 33 months."
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