Are bookshelves becoming obsolete?

Illustration for article titled Are bookshelves becoming obsolete?

The e-book is on the rise — but that does also mean that the bookshelf will disappear?

In response to this post on the obsolete tech that people thought would be around forever, commenter IrTehSuck makes the case for why the printed book — and it's display shelf — could carry on:

I just like the idea of "Collecting". I'll buy a hard copy of a book, even if I have it on an e-reader, just so I can display it on my shelf. Same with movies and CDs.

What are people going to look at when they visit your house and you're in the bathroom or cooking the food? I always look at the items on peoples shelves... these things tell you a lot about the person. I can't do that if everything is digital... kind of makes me sad to think that I'm a dying breed.


Of course, you could also argue that the display shelf hasn't disappeared with e-books and video streaming, it's just moved online as well, to your Facebook pages you like or to the reviews you leave. Still, there's something about seeing all the physical books and movies someone has collected that seems different — for one thing it seems likely to be a little less carefully curated, with old favorites mixed in with more random selections that you've also picked up.

What do you think? Will the bookshelf and dvd case survive? And, if not, what will replace it?

Image: Smath

Share This Story

Get our `newsletter`



I suspect after some sort of catastrophic EMP-related event — or more likely, some bullshit legal shenanigans that end up decimating the library of ebooks that customers assumed they had bought and "owned" — the appeal of having real physical books lying around will once again become manifestly apparent.