Do’s and Don’t of thinking about the future of the book: 2015 edition.

A student generated lists of “DOs and DON’Ts” when thinking about the future of the book. Created by the Fall 2015 class, after some inspiration from assigned readings (week 1) and through a series of group and class discussion.


  • Do keep in mind the digital divide
  • Do consider political and social causes for change
  • Do consider all aspects of publishing
  • Do take into account that people have different reading approaches/habits
  • Do remember that knowledge is not cemented in a physical presence: i.e. book
  • Do consider history in your prediction of the future, but be careful not to assume that history will (necessarily) repeat itself
  • Do consider the definition of the book


  • Don’t assume lack of availability isn’t a limiting factor
  • Don’t assume that paths of book technology are fixed. Anything could happen.
  • Don’t assume that changes will encompass the entire industry
  • Don’t assume that technology will be used in the way that it is intended to be used
  • Don’t assume that technology is a democratizing force
  • Don’t assume that new technology is always progress
  • Don’t assume that technology is an external force acting on the book industry
  • Don’t assume that new technologies equal a changed industry
  • Don’t’ assume a fixed pace at which technology will develop, or that it’s linear
  • Don’t assume that apparent trends will extend into the future (trends may not continue)

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