Last VCR Maker Halts Production

The last manufacturer of VCRs stops making them this month. Are print books far behind?

VCRs revolutionized the way the world watched TV, freeing us from the need to be home Friday evening to watch StarTrek, and eliminating the decision of whether to watch the last episode of Dallas or attend a coworker’s engagement party. Now, it’s been replaced by digital recording options like TiVO. The world marches on.

A similar revolution has occurred in the publishing world. Books that once required yards of shelf space now are downloaded onto tablets, smart phones and e-readers. The world of literature is at our fingertips. We can read tomes by Diana Gabaldon and J.K. Rowling easily while traveling. We can flip among romance, sci-fi, fantasy, espionage, courtroom dramas and anything else we care to load with just a finger swipe, and our traveling companions will be none the wiser.

I hardly ever read a print book anymore. I have them. They’re waiting on my side table. It’s just so much easier to pick up my tablet. I’m not alone. Readers at a recent book fair told me the same thing. Writers at the same fair said they produced print books as a secondary market – a marketing tool for their e-books.

Despite the e-books portability and ease of reading (you can adjust the font, size and paper color), print books aren’t substantially threatened.

You hear reports that e-book sales are falling – 13% in 2015, according to digitalbookworld.com. Perhaps that’s because so many are now available through libraries and through discounters like BookBub, which offer some titles for free.

All that’s academic, for me. It’s summer. I want to lose myself in a great book. There are plenty out there.

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