Open Question: When Will Digital Books Overtake Print Books?

We often discuss publishing’s digital transition as though it’s manifest destiny, but rarely do we see firm forecasts as to when (or if) this transition will occur.

Mike Shatzkin touched on this topic during a recent discussion on the Read 20 list:

We are going to have a bifurcated market for a while. The heavy users of 2.0 tools, including social networks, will tend to skew to “younger” and “techier.” They will both go for the modern products and be marketed to by the modern means. The legacy market, of people reading plain old books in paper and then the same plain old books on Kindles and other screens, will remain where the money is for published content for some years, certainly at least one decade, to come. (Posted here with Mike’s permission)

I’m interested in hearing what TOC readers think of the following:

  1. Do you believe digital books will supplant printed books?
  2. If no, why? If yes, when will it happen?

Please share your answers and thoughts in the comments area.

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