Friday, July 18, 2014

Will Books Be Here In 100 Years?

What do Babe Ruth, Greyhound, and World War I have in common? They each debuted a century ago. Most things don’t get discussed a hundred years after they’ve been launched and they just die out with the generation they grew up with. But Babe Ruth still remains an iconic sports figure, Greyhound still buses people across the nation, and World War I is still the second biggest war ever fought. 

What will we discuss a century from now? What will have the lasting power?

Babe Ruth was a legend in his day because he significantly outperformed his competition and he was a winner and his private life was quite interesting, if not scandalous for his day. Great players have come since him, but few have been as successful, as interesting.

Greyhound became a leader of a developing technology. Long-distance buses were new in 1914. Automobiles were only mass-produced less than a decade earlier. We take the bus for granted today and most prefer planes or even trains, but it still serves a purpose in society.

World War I led to World War II and shaped foreign policy for much of the past century. It was a bloody war that featured things not previously seen, such as war planes, advanced machine guns, and expanded use of submarines.

No one can predict what will last 100 years and continue to be used, talked about, and viewed as being significant, but it seems likely that Apple, Google, Amazon, and some of today’s leading tech companies will be part of our history for decades to come. They each shaped commerce, technology, communication, and the Internet during a time when so many new websites, services, and companies sprouted up seemingly overnight.

We have to wonder if books will be with us 100 years from now. Will the big five publishers be around? Will Barnes & Noble or Amazon be with us? Economics, technology, and other factors will influence the answers to these questions.

Of course we all hope and even assume books will always be with us, but after seeing the changes of the past decade, I do wonder where books will be once I have expired. I always think my writings will live beyond me and will be my contribution to society, but maybe they won’t. I have never really confronted the possibility that my words—and ideas, thoughts, and experiences—will just disappear as if they were never created.

I guess anyone reading this blog will not be around to confirm what’s in existence in 2114, but if you make it, please tweet this post.  

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, Media Connect, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2014

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