The meaning of book

is changing but, books aren’t going away.

A good friend of mine, Helen Cassidy, creates custom book sets for high dollar clients. They are beautiful. Some of her books have been commissioned to sell multi-million dollar media ads. People want that touch and feel of something built from scratch to be held in their hand. I don’t think anyone is going to give up books completely. At the recent VA-Association of Colleges of Teacher Education conference I talked about the resurgence in the art world of “Book Art”. I explained that I didn’t think books would go away in 2030 but I did think their role was changing. This is part of the Emergent Reality #3: Seamless Connections In and Out of Cyberspace in our recent book, Teaching 2030.

This is because we, as a society, have separated information as the meaning of the word “book” from the actual physical object, book. Books are still important and meaningful but, we haven’t figured out how yet. In separating information from books we have also changed the meaning of literacy. Now, youtube videos and audio are the new literacy. Kids can learn advanced biochemistry through multi-media instead of giant books that describe the activity of the brain. Now kids can actually see it. At the conference described how I couldn’t have done my Ph.D. 10 years ago because I didn’t have the patience to go to the VCU library and look for articles in the stacks. Now, I have almost too many references.

In the future if a teacher or student wants information, they will go to the internet but, if they want to know what it means to read, they might find themselves with a book.