Frank Romano: Hi, this is Frank Romano for Welcome back. Three articles I read recently are all interrelated. This one says, Printed Books or E-books: What is the Future of Reading? This one says, The Latest Craze, Print Books? And this one, of course, deals with book covers. It says, In the E-book World are Book Covers a Dying Art?

Well, you can see everybody is opining about the book world and I think I can understand why. I was recently on a ship for 105 days with 2400 old people and I could not count the number of kindles and iPads and electronic devices that they were reading on although some people did actually read a printed book. The reason they were using the electronic devices is they were going to away for some period of time so putting a whole batch of books on an electronic device made some sense. But at the same time there is a gigantic library on these large ships and they were reading print books as well.

My feeling is we are going to have this interesting world where people read books electronically and read books in print. By the way, I don’t think they will be exclusively electronic or exclusively print. We are all going to become bi-textual. We are all going to deal with both and the reason is that in some cases you want to buy a print book because you want to save that print book. You want to put it in your library on a shelf or whatever it may be. What are you going to do with the E-book? How will people know that you are smart? Oh, all my books are in here. Want to see the list? No, I don’t want to see the list. When the books are on a shelf it says something about you although some people use books as decorative materials more than anything else.

Will we still have book covers? Yes, because we will still have printed books. I believe that the vast majority of printed books will be done on demand. They will be done one at a time or a handful at a time. In many cases when you order a book the book will be printed for you and it will have a cover and someone will have designed that cover. So the book design world will still exist.

In terms of the latest craze in print books, yes, there are people who still want print books. I still want print books to some extent although there are some things I read in electronic form because I’m probably not going to keep them very long or not refer back to them for some reason.

Then, lastly, what is the future of reading?