The invention of the printing press by Johannes Gutenberg around 1440 was a major milestone for the book. The ability to reduce the months required to carefully copy by hand the content of each book to produce a new one was revolutionary. For individuals the mass production of typewriters in 1868 and the computer in 1981 made it possible for them to write and print their own compositions.
Since the advent of the computer there has been a move toward digitally storing existing books, documents and artworks.
Schools and colleges are moving away from the printed word. Issuing students with iPads which have already been preloaded with all the required course material. Study, homework assignments and test papers are being distributed and completed online.
Offices rely on the electronic transfer of information to increase productivity and to create digital records. Company books are for many now stored in computer accounting programs. Newspapers and magazines have online versions accessible to 'on the go' readers. Even restaurants using iPads are testing computerized menus and order systems.
Book readers are designed specifically to be easy to read in all light conditions and feature conveniently placed navigation buttons. Some of Amazon's Kindle e-book readers incorporate E Ink technology which saves power and provides a non reflective screen making it a positive user experience.
Although books are still being published and printed, they are now also being made available to download either for reading on specific devices or for printing out. Printed books, magazines and newspapers will probably become treasured items in the same way that vinyl records did.
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