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考研英语外刊双语阅读:The Future of the Book
 

The Future of the Book

Daniel Roland

The transformation of the book industry has reached a tipping point. Electronic books now outsell paperbacks on Amazon, the retailer recently announced. And Borders, the second-largest bookstore chain in the United States, is reportedly considering a bankruptcy filing. With books evolving at warp speed, we polled some literary brains on the future of reading:

JUDITH REGAN, book editor and SiriusXM host: Books are going to get both longer and shorter. I think they will be more affordable. Books are pretty expensive. Publishers are so silly because they focus on “We’re not going to be selling so many hardcover books at $26.” Yeah, but you’re going to sell infinitely more electronically, so what are you complaining about? I view it as a greater opportunity.

I just read Cleopatra; I read it on my iPad. I love my iPad. I’m marrying my iPad! It’s great because I travel, and I don’t want to carry a billion things with me.

DAVE EGGERS, author and founder of the publishing house McSweeney’s: I don’t own an e-reader, and I’ve never read a page on an e-reader. I do everything I can to avoid more screen time.

I don’t think e-books have topped 10 percent of the market. My guess is that it will be about 15 to 20 percent of the market, because e-readers are expensive, and they’ll continue to be expensive.

Not to diminish the value of a paperback, when it comes to somebody investing in a hardcover, it’s something you want to keep. Everything from a cloth-case wrap to a leatherette to a foil-stamped cover, heavier paper, better binding, innovative cover design. You have to give readers a choice, between a richer experience with paper and board and cloth, and a more sterile experience through an electronic reader. We just try to make every aspect of the physical book as good as it can possibly be, because that’s our greatest hedge against the dominance of e-books.

JAMES H. BILLINGTON, librarian of Congress: The new immigrants don’t shoot the old inhabitants when they come in. One technology tends to supplement rather than supplant. How you read is not as important as: will you read? And will you read something that’s a book—the sustained train of thought of one person speaking to another? Search techniques are embedded in e-books that invite people to dabble rather than follow a full train of thought. This is part of a general cultural problem.

WILLIAM LYNCH, Barnes & Noble CEO: We’ve maintained in the last few years there will be fewer bookstores. Barnes & Noble will benefit from that. We have the best real-estate and business model in the world. Books are still a majority of what we sell in stores, but they are becoming less and less. You’ve started to see some of that evolution—creating our Nook reading area and digital reading lounges and kiosks, even the digital kids’ reading areas.

Amazon does not equal the market. About 50 percent of physical books are sold in non-bookstore outlets, like drugstores and club stores. There are people with agendas in this industry, but the physical book is not going anywhere.

JOYCE CAROL OATES, author: My husband, Charlie, is a neuroscientist, and of course he immediately ordered both the Kindle and iPad. When we travel, we read books and The New York Times on the iPad. I’d much rather have a book.

With Jennie Yabroff

美国《新闻周刊》网站2月6日报道】题:书的未来(记者  拉明·塞图德)

    图书行业的变革已经面临一个爆发点。零售企业亚马逊最近宣布,其网站上的电子书现在已经比纸质图书畅销。美国第二大图书连锁企业博德斯公司据称正考虑提出破产申请。我们就阅读的未来采访了一些文学界人士:

    图书编辑及天狼星-XM广播公司主持人朱迪思·里甘:书籍正变得越来越长以及越来越短。我认为它们将更能让人们担负得起。图书真的很贵。

    作家及麦克斯威尼出版公司创始人戴夫·埃格斯:我没有电子阅读器,我也从来没有在电子阅读器上看过书。我尽可能减少消耗在屏幕前的时间。

    电子书不可能只占有10%的市场。我认为,电子书将占据15%至20%的市场份额。

    不是小看纸质图书的价值,当某人购买硬皮书的时候,说明他想保存这本书。你必须给消费者提供选择,是体验更为丰富的纸质图书,还是更枯燥无味的电子阅读器。我们只想尽可能让纸质图书的每个方面都尽善尽美,因为这是我们对抗电子书统治地位的最大挑战。

    巴恩斯—诺布尔公司首席执行官威廉·林奇:我们在过去几年认为,书店将越来越少。图书仍然占据我们销售的大头,但正在变得越来越少。你已经开始看到某些变革——创建Nook阅读器的阅读领域,甚至是儿童电子阅读领域。

    作家乔伊丝·卡萝尔·科茨:我丈夫是一名神经科学家,他马上就预订了亚马逊的Kindle阅读器和苹果的iPad平板电脑。当我们旅行时,我们用iPad看书,看《纽约时报》。

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