Can the Advance of Computer Technologies Make Printed Books Disappear?

The question has been asked, “will the advance of computer technology make printed books disappear?” My answer is not “guaranteed”. That’s not my point. The point is that there are many places where you can go today to buy and read a quality book without having to use a computer. You may think this is impossible but I have personally found several books that can be bought online and downloaded from the internet.

I would submit to you that the idea of having the entire physical book placed on your bookshelf and accessible at any time is pretty much a quaint one. We all recall when we were younger and requested a book from our parents or another adult and they brought it out for us to read. My father was a lawyer and he used to always bring home a new book on the week ends and made it a point to show them to all of his friends. It is interesting how the written word has changed over the years, just like music and movies.

When computers first came onto the scene they were considered to be a little crazy by some. They were considered a toy by some. But as their popularity increased, they became just as acceptable and even demanded by some. Now, having the written word at your fingertips is a huge convenience, but will the advance of computer technology render the written word irrelevant?

The written word was never taken entirely out of the picture. You still find books being published that include some form of text. Books are also in audio format and there are audio books that have been published. In fact, many people use their cell phones and PDAs to listen to audio books. All of this technology leaves me wondering if there will ever be a time when we have no longer need for printed books.

There is still a place for the written word and there will always be readers. Most people will always prefer to read rather than listen to something on their radio or television. Audio books are becoming more popular because they take away some of the stress and hassle associated with reading. You can easily flip a page, highlight pertinent information, and even bookmark a certain section of a book so that you do not have to keep returning to it over again.

I do not know if I will ever see the day when there will be no more printed books. I certainly hope that this is not the end of the written word. I certainly enjoy looking at used books in flea markets and thrift stores because sometimes, even though I have used the words within the cover, I really missed some of the story.

I believe that the advancement of computer technology will benefit all people. We will be able to look up words and phrases from a book with our computers. We will also be able to look up a person’s name or address just by using their computer login information. The possibilities seem endless and I would like to believe that someday all written materials will be available to us electronically. That would be a wonderful world!

Even though I am not too sure about the future of computer technology, I am very sure about the future of the spoken word. Printed books will become obsolete when people use their computers to look up words or phrases from a book. Will the advance of computer technologies make printed books disappear? Perhaps not. However, I do believe that the written word will always have a place in our lives.