I’ve started a new discussion group LibraryThing Group, Books in 2025.
The group aims to centralize and restart a site-wide conversation about the future of books and reading. It’s a conversation that’s been going on for years here and there on Talk, especially Book talk and the librarians group, in comments to my Thingology posts about ebooks and my Twitter stream. It needs it’s own group. It will also be refreshing to hear more from LibraryThing members–not technologists or industry people. After all, who better to discuss the future of books than the people who love them most?
Anything about the future of books is welcome, but the focus will be on how ebooks and social reading are and will change things, with 15 years as a proposed timeframe:
- How will ebooks change reading? Has it changed your reading?
- How fast will ebooks rise, and how high will they go? Is the paper book dead?
- Where is social reading going? What’s core and what’s fad?
- Will sites like LibraryThing continue to exist, or will ereaders leverage their advantages to make book discussion a platform-dependent activity?
- Will libraries contract or prosper in an ebook world? What can they do to make sure things turn out right?
- How will ebooks change the world for publishers?
- Will writers see increased opportunities–or be decimated by piracy? How will ebooks change literature?
- Are physical bookstores doomed?
- What about the rest of the book world–small and informal libraries, agents, rare books, small presses, book reviewers, etc.?
- Amazon, B&N, Apple… How many will win, and how will they evolve?
Anyone can post, and start a topic. But we’re going to keep this a LibraryThing project. We’ll be starting some topics ourselves, and bringing in authors and other book people to discuss what they know, and where they think things are going.
Group image by Javier Candeira, released under CC-Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (see on Flickr).