Watching modern behavior patterns, it could be easy to infer that long-form books are going extinct.

With ample opportunity for distraction these days, is the ability to read a whole book (no matter the medium) disappearing? Nicholas Carr flags this NYT quote from Nicholas Negroponte, who heads up the One Laptop Per Child group:

“I love the iPad, but my ability to read any long-form narrative has more or less disappeared, as I am constantly tempted to check e-mail, look up words or click through.”

But are predictions of the death of the book just more of the same?  In the New York Times, Steve Lohr notes that new technologies have always meant that people predicted the deaths of old ones.  TV never killed the radio; the net hasn’t killed the tube. Instead, the process of technological innovation has been evolutionary, what is fundamentally new is the speed at which the change is taking place.

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