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Are Print Books Dead?

There are still a few lingering bookstores, print books are still available at Amazon, and Barnes & Noble, but are they going the way of the dinosaurs? A documentary maker believes they won’t be around much longer except as special gifts, or limited editions. Worldreader and The Information Heritage Initiative say they could not spread “books” around the world except in digital format. 

The documentary titled – Out of Print – is being screened in select locations. It deals with the strange aspect of eliminating books in our time and trusting everything to some cyber machine. From the movies website:

Is the book as we know it really dead? Is the question even important in an always-on, digital world? I set out on a quest to find out what it really means to us as individuals, and as a society, to have the ability to answer nearly any question at lightning speed, anywhere, and at any time.

The complexity of the architecture of information became evident from the first interview: the bookseller led to the author, which led to the publisher, to the librarian, the reader, the pirate web site, the educator, the cognitive scientist; issues of copyright, preservation, knowledge, democratization, and diversity of access and sources were all intertwined. “Is the book dead?” was simply the starting point to get to the bottom of a time of transformation that ultimately affects every aspect of our society. The late Ray Bradbury, Authors Guild President Scott Turow, Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos, New Yorker and CNN analyst Jeffrey Toobin, are among the participants that helped me unravel the issues that impact the very core of our civilization. I hope that the clarity that Out of Print offers is a starting point around which we can engage in a candid and fruitful discussion that will help direct our future.

With narration by Meryl Strep, the movie offers many thought provoking moments about the death of print. You can click here to find a location to view it.

 

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