Steve Jobs, if this is the best you can do ...... please spare us your prognostications.
Thanks to Simon Dumenco of Advertising Age, I am now aware of what Steve Jobs of Apple Inc. had to say in an interview reported by John Markoff in a January 15 post on the New York Times BITS blog.
According to Jobs, the Amazon Kindle, a wireless device for accessing and reading digital texts, is doomed because "the fact is that people don't read anymore. Forty percent of the people in the U.S. read one book or less last year. The whole conception is flawed at the top because people don't read anymore."
As Dumenco points out, not only are book sales continuing to grow, but, if you define "reading" as "reading whatever texts are of interest to you delivered via whatever media you like to use," there is an enormous amount of reading going on, as electronically enabled ways of communicating ideas, stories, and positions become easier and cheaper to use. Now that texts are increasingly available on-demand, there is every reason to think that the trend toward intensive creation of and, yes, reading of texts will continue to be something to which a large portion of the population devote significant amounts of time.
At the end of his commentary, Dumenco mentions the Institute for the Future of the Book, which takes as its mission
- tracking the shift of reading from the printed page to the networked screen
- taking actions to nudge this shift in a positive direction