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2014-04-23    来源:chinadaily    【      美国外教 在线口语培训


For many generations, the ink smell of a freshly printed newspaper has been the table salt in the morning that accompanied most of their breakfasts. But it may soon be no longer, as the print industry braces for a late entry into the digital party, marching at a furious pace.

Take America's best-known newspaper, The New York Times, as an example. While its daily print circulation continues to decline, its digital subscriber base kept growing. In Q2, NYT's paid digital subscribers grew by 40% year-on-year to over 738,000.

Magazine newsstand sales in the US also dropped by 10% in the first half of 2013 while sales of the digital replica editions surged 89% to 10.2m.

Around the globe, more than 300 publishers having erected different versions of paywalls in the past 2 years to offset revenue lost from declines in print circulation.

As regard to the book market, although printed books have many die-hard fans, the e-book is gradually gaining market share with its convenience and bargain price.

A report from the Association of American Publishers says sales of e-books jumped a whopping 252% in 2011 and grew 27% in 2012 in the US. Those owning an e-book device or tablet jumped from 18% to 33% last year. E-books now represent 25% of total book sales in the US.

PwC estimates that trade e-books will drive $8.2b in sales by 2017 - surpassing projected print book sales, which it thinks will shrink by more than half during that period.
Print is not dying. Data shows sales of e-books rose just 5% in the year ending in the first quarter of 2013, a big slip in growth compared with years before. A circulation flow toward digital edition is inevitable, but think of print like an overweight beast, and the circulation decrease as shedding excess weight. The result is a leaner, more defined, more beautiful creature. What we buy in print will be increasingly valuable as readers shift to the digital realm.

Print, for many types of information, will become far less important. It's too slow and too clunky. Major newspapers and magazines, and most mass-produced books will continue to see diminishing print runs, but the rest will survive to play the role of art.

Many fine presses around the US put out handcrafted products, often featuring new fiction or poetry. These publications are often labors of love, driven more by an ascendant (优越的) creative-class interest in pre-digital technologies than any existing profit model.

As paper books become more unusual, some will continue to buy them as collectors' items, others for the superior sensory experience they afford. Carl Jung's Red Book, in a facsimile edition featuring hand-painted text and illustrations, sold well in America in 2010 despite its $195 price tag. When readers believe that a book is special in itself, as an object, they can be persuaded to pay more.

Bookshelves will survive too. The next generation of paper books on the shelves will likely rival the art hanging beside them on the walls for beauty, expense, and "aura".

With print, reading is a more solitary pursuit. A physical book is a solitary experience that can only be enjoyed by one person at a time. When we finish a book, we close the cover and are left in peace. No chat windows or alerts attempt to distract us from our internal thinking processes.

Thanks to Kindle, iPad and other tablets and e-readers, reading now becomes more social. Many devices offer social features or apps that allow us to annotate, share and discuss with people at the same time we read e-books. It's a good way to find circles, but it also give readers few opportunities of independent thinking.

Tufts University child development professor Maryanne Wolf laments the loss of what she calls "deep reading." E-readers is making long-form reading become subject to the same multitasking options. Read a book on an iPad and the distractions are embedded in the physical form itself. English professors report that today's students are unable or unwilling to read lengthy 19th-century novels.

An emerging collection of studies emphasizes that in addition to screens possibly taxing people's attention more than paper, people do not always bring as much mental effort to screens in the first place. Subconsciously, many people may think of reading on a computer or tablet as a less serious affair than reading on paper. A study from San Jose State University concluded that people reading on screens take a lot of shortcuts - they spend more time browsing, scanning and hunting for keywords compared with people reading on paper, and are more likely to read a document once, and only once.
In the digital age, it doesn't take professional skills to be publishers. Anyone can publish books as they like and sell them to make profits. Using apps such as Amazon's CreateSpace, you can publish your own e-book or you can remix other books in your interpretation. The future of reading will be the linking, translating, co-creating, and discovering.

Self-publishing is already thriving in the US. A self-published title was the top e-book seller 4 times in the first 4 months this year.

In the past a book was defined as anything printed between two covers. Today the paper pages of a book are disappearing. What is left in their place is the conceptual structure of a book - a bunch of text united by a theme into an experience that takes a while to complete.

As publishers grapple with the multimedia issues inherent in digital publishing, readers won't just share passages from books, but illustrations, charts, and rich content such as movies and animations. And this will lead to the question: What really is a book, really is anyway? "Books" and "magazines" will soon, in large part, become indistinguishable from the richest of websites, both in terms of multimedia content, and "readers'" ability to share that content.

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