The brilliant Thomas Edison amassed over a thousand patents for his many inventions, including the light bulb, the phonograph, and one of the first motion pictures. Of course, not all his inventions were a success. Neither were his predictions.
Edison’s groundbreaking development of the motion picture had him convinced that schools and learning would be forever changed by the new medium. According to the “Ebookfriendly” blog site, Edison once said, “Books will soon be obsolete in the public schools. Scholars will be instructed through the eye. It is possible to teach every branch of human knowledge with the motion picture. Our school system will be completely changed inside of ten years.”
Sound familiar? In the past few years more than a few experts have spelled doom for the print book, asserting it will never survive the digital book revolution. It’s true that ebook sales have soared in a short period of time. And we are all waiting and wondering how print books, brick-and-mortar bookstores, and ebooks will affect each other and adapt in the coming years. But readers have continued to desire print books, and the main consequence of ereaders seems to be that people are reading more–in various formats–not that they’re buying fewer print books. “Ebookfriendly” believes Edison’s failed prediction cautions against forecasting a dire endpoint to the current state of publishing. Ebooks and print books are not rivals, but rather they “play on the same team.”
What do you think? Post your comments on the Fuze Facebook page.