48:56 minutes (23.49 MB)
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Publishers Weekly has predicted that 2009 stands to be “the worst year for publishing in decades.” American publishers and booksellers are cutting staff across the country and the economy has some wondering if even big booksellers, like Barnes & Noble, will survive as they currently exist. All this would seem to suggest that Americans are reading less. But they’re not. A study released last month by The National Endowment for the Arts says that for the first time in over 25 years, the number of literary reading adults in the US has actually increased 3.5% over the past six years. What does it all mean?
Today on Where We Live, we’ll talk to publishing veterans, authors, and technology gurus about the future of the book. How has the rapid expansion of the world wide web changed the way we read and what should we expect to see as the digital revolution marches on? Some people envision a new literary world where the entire contents of literary existence will be available, on demand, in a way that puts new emphasis on interconnectivity and social networking. But if that’s not it—how else might it look? Join the conversation. Are you ready to curl up by the fire with a Kindle instead of a paperback? Or is a good old fashioned set of pages between two covers as good as it gets? If you’re a book lover—does all this change have you excited, or just plain scared? Leave your questions and comments below.
*This program originally broadcast on 2/18/2009