In the Guardian, Michelle Pauli reports from the Frankfurt Book Fair that according to a poll of 1,324 top industry professionals the book will still be around in 50 years time, the independent bookseller may not be:
Almost a quarter of the industry professionals who took part in the survey predicted that the high street bookseller would no longer exist in 2057, while only 11% thought that the printed book would be obsolete. However, nearly as many - 10.5% - also thought that the electronic reader would be superseded. The respondents, of whom nearly half were at senior director level or above, were not asked to look into their crystal balls to predict what might replace the book and e-reader, but 44% identified the use of e-books as a key area of growth for the industry. In an increasingly globalised world, 27% saw books in translation as a growth area, and nearly a third saw China as the future dominating market in the publishing industry.Pauli notes that the biggest area of growth at the fair is in digital products, and that there are a number of sessions aimed at helping publishers learn how to tackle the developments in e-publishing. She quotes Frankfurt Book Fair director Juergen Boos as saying that the fair is now a "contents fair" and the book is just one transmitter of content.