Stacy SaccoJust when PDFzone writer David Coursey is knocking e-books, along comes columnist Stacy Sacco with the following headline–in the Albuquerque Tribune newspaper:

Paper books on way out; I should write one.

We already know that p-books are not about to vanish overnight; nor should they. But consider Sacco’s first-hand observations of the students whom this marketing pro teaches:

Every semester, to get a handle on marketing trends, I ask my University of New Mexico students about their product usage.

Not surprisingly, they’ve replaced their home phones with cell phones; don’t write paper checks anymore but use plastic, whether a debit or credit card; and, although it might be hard to imagine, the majority of them would prefer a CD-ROM disc for accessing information to reading a book. And most complete their research projects and other school assignments online and very rarely step foot in a library.

Saccco then goes on to describe various electronic alternatives:

Google announced a massive scanning project that will digitize millions of volumes of printed books from the library collections at the University of Michigan, Harvard, Stanford and Oxford universities, and the New York Public Library to make them accessible via Google Print.

At the heart these mass digitizing activities is a custom-built robotic page-turning and scanning device, called the Digitizing Line, which Stanford University Library is using to transform its paper books into searchable e-books, in both PDF images and text formats. The line can scan up to 1,200 pages an hour or about 3,000 books a day. Google plans to digitize more than 8 million books at Stanford alone.

When it comes to writing gigs, Sacco should trade places with David Coursey, who, at least on the topic of e-reading, might be more comfortable at a nontech daily newspaper.

Sacco’s students are the future. The only way you can stop e-books is to kill off all the young people reared by the glow of the screen.

Detail: Yes, I know David Coursey conceded that young people might view e-books differently from older readers. And I truly agree with him that the tech isn’t perfect. Still, as much as I hate oppressive DRM and the Tower of eBabel, it was clear that Coursey had a ‘tude problem about e-book. If he really cared for them, he would have taken the time to learn the nuances behind their failure to catch on so far.

(Via eBookAd.)


  1. I read Coursey’s piece and I whole heartedly agree with him that the world isn’t quite ready for e-books especially in terms of the limited choice of delivery mediums. However, as my student’s comments portend, there’s a long-term trend afoot and I think 20-25 years from now the world will look much different. Of course, since niether of us has an accurate crystal ball to consult, we’ll just have to see how it all unfolds. And it may be something entirely different then we can imagine: i.e., books that are imbedded in glasses so you can read them via mini-screens portrayed on the lenses, pda’s that look and feel like books complete with a binding and two screens on opposite pages, or a chip you can plug into the side of your head and download the book’s contents directly into your brain. Whatever the future, it’s going to be fun to be a part of these changes! Stacy

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