Wednesday, April 6, 2011

RTW: Publishing in 2111

Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question that begs to be answered. In the comments, you can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic.

We'd love for you to participate! Just answer the prompt on your own blog and leave a link - or, if you prefer, you can include your answer in the comments.

This Week's Topic:
Assuming we make it through the 2012 apocalypse, what do you imagine the publishing world will look like 100 years from now? 

Publishing in 2111?

Well, I have no doubt there will be many more books (maybe even some of my own) by then. I re-read a book this week along with my students called Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the way we make things.

It's all about how recycling is often just downcycling-- turning products never intended to be recycled into another product, losing value in the materials with each alteration.

The first chapter is called "This book is not a tree" and goes into all kinds of detail about the products used to create this "book". The ink on the pages is not toxic and can be "wiped clean" through an industrial process and "refilled" with the words of another book. It's waterproof and meant to be upcycled into another book in the future.

Of course, way back in 2002 when cradle to cradle was published, e-books were still a fantasy.

I still love a book (and even my students remarked about how "good" cradle to cradle feels), but I would also like to try reading on an e-reader.

I guess my hope for the future of publishing is that we will come up with technologies that offer choices for our reading experiences.Choices that get more books into more people's hands all over the world in a way that's safe and sustainable.

 And if those are YA books... well, even better.



  1. You must be a YA book fan. This book, Cradle to Cradle, sounds interesting.

  2. Hear hear! Making publishing more sustainable is a big reason I (in theory) support digital reading. It's terribly sad to think of not having traditional bookstores though!

  3. Great post! I'm with you in hoping that the future will get as many books as possible to the masses. And Cradle to Cradle does seem pretty intriguing. Are your students enjoying it?

  4. Bravo! I think there's a place for both...bought a paperback the other day I wanted to curl up on the sofa with. Have a good read going on my Kindle.

  5. I still love the feel of a real book, especially since I spend so much time staring at a screen. I do think the e-revolution is great for writers, though. It offers so many opportunities.

  6. Great post! I love the idea of a book whose "ink on the pages is not toxic and can be 'wiped clean' through an industrial process and 'refilled' with the words of another book." What a gorgeous palimpsest of words!

  7. I highly recommend it Angela- it's depressing and inspiring at the same time. Very well-written.

    @Sarah- I hope it's about balance. I think there's room for both.

    Quita- it's an environmental class, so they are enjoying it.

    Nice Kittie- the best of both worlds.

    I agree Julie- I worry about my vision from all this screen-staring.

    Nice use of palimpsest Lara-- cool concept, huh?

  8. I love it. And I'm so buying that book for my husband. It sounds right up his alley.

  9. I haven't read this book, but I've heard other books refer to this one. We do need to go beyond recycling to thinking about how many resources it costs to make and remake things.

  10. I suspect that e-books will bring a lot of changes that right now we don't even suspect. I can't wait to see what they are.

  11. CRADLE TO CRADLE sounds like an interesting read. I think my husband would especially like it. One I'll have to recommend to him. :)

  12. That's an incredibly good idea and I really hope it does happen. Cradle to Cradle sounds like a really interesting read.

  13. I must admit, I wasn't an ebook girl until I was given a kindle. Now you can't tear it out of my hands. It's definitely increased my book buying--every time I get a recommendation, I download a sample, and more often than not, go on to buy.

  14. Cradle to Cradle sounds very interesting. Now if they could somehow get the e-readers to FEEL like a book, then that would be awesome.


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