Amanda Katz, commentator on NPR, hosted a talk entitled “Will Your Children Inherit Your E-Books?” on June 21, 2012 http://www.npr.org/2012/06/21/155360197/will-your-children-inherit-your-e-books. While this is a story about the future of e-books, it also promotes the beauty and physicality of books made from paper and cloth. This story includes great images of marginalia, bindings, and more that just don’t translate to e-books, at least not easily.
How will e-books be shared with our families, friends, and future acquaintances? Will it be possible to bequeath them to your heirs or your library? What value will these electronic books have for future researchers and readers? Katz raises excellent questions about e-books that are similar to our questions about the future of libraries as a whole!
What will you do with all those e-books you are acquiring? And with digital audio books and digital movies for that matter? Will they last into the future? The last question drifts into domain of preservation of digital materials, well beyond this class. If you want to know about the sustainability of digital or print materials check out the two SLIS courses on the topic.