Gazing into the crystal ball

I went to a Writers’ Union of Canada workshop on Friday about the future of publishing. It was depressing, enlightening, and inspiring in turn. The quote of the day was from Ross Laird:

“Books are dead. They just don’t know it yet.”

Strangely, I’m not worried. As much as I’m attached to books, I understand that not everyone shares this view. (Ahem… Min.)

But here’s the thing: everyone needs a storyteller. From ancient shamans to medieval bards, Victorian novelists to star bloggers, there have always been storytellers. They preserve our histories, interpret our cultures, and explain us to ourselves and to each other.

And if performers once shared the Illiad or Beowolf without paper, why should their descendants cling to printed books so fiercely?

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