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The future of books and libraries

Posted on January 3rd, 2013 at 16:03 by Desiato in category: Commentary, Intellectual Property -- Write a comment


Elkin-Koren predicted that as books turn into e-books, they will move from being commodities to being services, and publishing will merge with retailing. "There is no difference between a bookseller, a publisher, and a library," she said.

Thought-provoking claim, I thought. It seems somewhat obvious that the difference between publishing and retailing is shrinking: Amazon is becoming a publisher, and publishers sell e-books directly to readers (e.g. O-Reilly, Baen, etc).

The remaining claim is that when it comes to e-books, libraries as we know them have no future. This is supported in part earlier in the post by observing that publishers are resisting letting libraries lend e-books, essentially because they don’t think they can afford to.

This comes from a very interesting two-part post [1, 2]

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