Are books dead? June 3, 2006Posted by rajAT in blog, book, books, digital library, entrepreneur, entrepreneurship, media2.0.
[Via J Jarvis] Richard Charkin, head of Macmillan publishers has shared these statistics.
On average across the world people spend 6.5 hours a week reading. The most of amount time spent reading is in India (10.7 hours), the least Korea (3.1 hours). UK is very near the bottom at 5.3 hours, Germany and USA a little higher at 5.7 hours.
The Chinese listen to radio less than any other nation (2.1 hours a week), Argentina the most (20.8 hours).
On average people now spend more time on the Internet for leisure (not work) than reading – 8.9 vs 6.5 hours. Mexico uses the Intenet for leisure least (6.3 hours) and Taiwan the most (12.6 hours).
Internet use reduces the time people have for reading by around 20%.
40% of Europeans do not read books.
More people use the Internet for leisure than read books in the developed world.
And people wonder why publishers are spending so much time and effort on digital development.
First of all, it is great to know that we Indians are spending maximum in devouring books. Literacy rate of India is seeing a steady rise over the last decade or so.
The most connected country in the world that is Korea is spending least time reading books. Now there lies the juice. Does this mean that internet is going to kill the books as we know. Has it become an outmoded means of communicating information.
Well Jeff Jarvis thinks so. He has pointed out many problems with the books.
- They are frozen in time without the means of being updated and corrected.
- They have no link to related knowledge, debates, and sources.
- They create, at best, a one-way relationship with a reader.
- They try to teach readers but don’t teach authors.
- They tend to be too damned long because they have to be long enough to be books.
- They are expensive to produce.
- They depend on scarce shelf space.
- They depend on blockbuster economics.
- They can’t afford to serve the real mass of niches.
- They are subject to gatekeepers’ whims.
- They aren’t searchable.
- They aren’t linkable.
- They have no metadata.
- They carry no conversation.
- They are thrown out when there’s no space for them anymore.
In the end – We need to kill the book to save books.
I couldn't agree more.
PS: It is a great opportunity for the entrepreneurs. 🙂