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Old Survey, New Survey

This week’s survey is a chance to imagine that you’re reborn as a literary genre. What would it be? In my case, though I love reading and writing creative nonfiction, I think I’d like to be a short story. It would be fun to be contained within a small, completely fictional world.

Meanwhile, last week’s survey response was brisk! There were 92 responses to the question, “How long before publishers stop publishing in paper?” I was struck that more than 3 out of four respondents acknowledge this as a real possibility, even if off in the conveniently distant future:

How long before publishers stop publishing in paper?
Not in my lifetime 58.7%
Never 23.9%
Twenty years 9.8%
Ten years 7.6%

I’d put myself in the twenty-year crowd, based on a lot of caveats and if-thens that have more to do with the obstacles created by commercial greed and opportunism in the publishing industry than the much-cited (and mostly short-sighted) rationales about why people won’t accept format changes.

Information flows down the path of least resistance. People are only loyal to paper books because that’s the best format right now. People felt that way about horses, of a day.

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