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The future of books

March 25, 2011


James Warner has written a great piece in McSweeney’s on the Future of the Book. Loaded with a special flavor of cynicism, Warner examines what the book world will evolve from 2020 to 2080.

Here’s one of my favorite passages.

2040: Authors Will Become Like Tamagotchi.

“Having determined that
what readers want is a “sense of connection,” publishers will organize
adopt-an-author promotions, repackaging writers along the lines of
Webkinz and other imaginary pets. “Feeding” your favorite authors by
buying their books will make their online avatars grow less pale and
grouchy. If they starve to death on your watch you will lose social
networking points. Book clubs will cultivate with their favorite writers
the warm, fuzzy, organic bond a trainer develops with his or her
Pokemon, a process that will culminate in staged fights-to-the-death
between your author and the author sponsored by another book club. These
fights will occur offline, since there will be one or two bookstores
left and
something has to happen there.”

Posted by Ed Cotton

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