What is the future of books

Location: Home tv.ORF.at

In contrast to the previous models, you no longer need a computer to get the books on the device. The reader connects wirelessly to browse the virtual bookstore. Is that the end of the classic book?

Wolfgang Langenbucher, communication scientist: “It is possible that certain types of books will disappear. Because they are more comfortable
e-books are replaced. I can z. B. introduce the scientific book. It often appears in very small editions. It is very expensive to manufacture. If electronic production is cheaper because you can call it up from an existing data storage device, then that is an increase in economic conditions. "
Away from paper and towards digital: more and more libraries are also following this trend. The scanner at the library of the University of Vienna has been running non-stop for a year and a half. As part of a digitization program, historical printed works are scanned here and published on the Internet in the future. In this way, cultural documents that are kept scattered but belong together can be put together again for the first time. That devours time and money: It takes around 3 days to digitize this 600-page book. Only one of a total of 2.6 million that are stored here. If you only needed one day for each book, that would be 2.6 million days, a total of 7,222 years!

But it can also be done faster. This automatic book scanner - an invention of Austrian technicians - creates 1000 pages per hour! With negative pressure, one side is pulled up and scanned on both sides. Instead of turning the pages, it is blown over.

The day on which we will no longer search through libraries by hand but with a click of the mouse seems to be certain. It is not so certain how long the digitized data will last. Many storage formats quickly become obsolete or have to be laboriously brought up to date.

Wolfgang Langenbucher, communication scientist: “This is a problem that librarians all over the world are dealing with: the danger of a Bermuda Triangle, into which those databases fall that are not stored on absolutely secure data carriers. Paper is obviously still one of the safest media to guarantee the survival of information. "

The ancient Egyptians probably already knew that. They left their knowledge on papyrus rolls up to 2 meters long - the paper of antiquity. The oldest surviving finds date from the year 2700 BC. The leaves made from the papyrus plant were written on with black ink - a mixture of soot, water and acacia juice. A rush stalk served as a pencil.

In 1450, an invention revolutionized the art of printing. Johannes Gensfleisch, better known as Johannes Gutenberg, invented printing with movable type. For the first time it was possible to produce longer texts quickly and inexpensively in large print runs. A lead casting instrument developed by him made it possible to mass-produce letters. These were so robust that they could even withstand the pressure of the press. Certificates and documents in Gutenberg's style are still printed today. With the enormous effort, however, only 4000 pieces per year.

What would have taken Gutenberg years to do - today it is done in one day. In one of the largest printing works in Vienna, 25 tons of paper are printed every day. In 24 hours, high-performance printing machines transform 300,000 white pages into colorful books, advertising folders or posters. Despite the trend towards digitization, the demand for printed matter is increasing.

Werner Bethmann, Druckerei Holzhausen: “Of course we have started the competition. In future, we must meet the needs of the market more quickly. We cannot foresee how this development will continue. But we try to react quickly to the needs of the market.

Despite all fears, there is already a coexistence of books and digital information. Could the e-book do what the laptop couldn't? Replacing magazines and books?

Wolfgang Langenbucher, communication scientist: “There will be mixed forms. Just as you enclose a CD with books about music today, you may in the future give instructions for the use of e-books in books. The future of the book depends on whether it will continue to adapt to new technical developments in the future. "

Paper or monitor? Whoever wins the race in the future will only be decided by the next, the "computer generation".