At Book View Café Ursula K. Le Guin pretends to brood over ”The Death of the Book”, then shares her ultimate opinion, one similar to Mark Twain’s famous quip about a reported death being greatly exaggerated:
Anyhow, the eschatologists’ judgment is that the book is going to die and go to heaven or hell, leaving us to the mercy of Hollywood and our computer screens.
There certainly is something sick about the book industry, but it seems closely related to the sickness affecting every industry that, under pressure from a corporate owner, dumps product standards and long-range planning in favor of ‘predictable’ sales and short-term profits….
The life span of a book is more like that of the horse, or the human being, sometimes the oak, even the redwood. Which is why it seems a good idea, rather than mourning their death, to rejoice that books now have two ways of staying alive, getting passed on, enduring, instead of only one.
[Thanks to John Mansfield for the story.]