Many small publishers of genealogy books as well as other publications have been moaning and groaning about "competition from the Internet." This hand wringing has been aggravated still further by Google's recent project to scan millions of older books and to make them available online. However, Jonathan Enfield says it is a bit too early to publish the obituaries of the publishing industry just yet.
Writing in Forbes Magazine, Enfield points out that the number of titles published in the U.S. grew almost every year from 1993 to 2004, precisely the same years during which the Internet emerged and took hold. He also quotes University of Iowa library conservator Gary Frost in his statements that "screen-based reading and the digital revolution … are actually going to engender a renaissance of print."
Frost's point is that all book production is already digital, and that's saved publishers a lot of money, allowing for more books to be printed. The only meaningful decrease in printed books, Frost says, is nothing that bibliophiles should lament. Gone are the books of airline and train schedules while novels, nonfiction, and poetry books flourish.
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