Since the introduction of ebooks and, more recently, ebook readers such as the Kindle and the Kobo, physical books have been selling less and less. Now Nicholas Negroponte, founder of One Laptop per Child, has told CNN that physical books will disappear in five years. Due to the restrictions of distribution that come with the physical medium of paper books, Negroponte said loading digital books onto laptops is more efficient.
One Laptop per Child sends laptops to third-world countries, with the aim of providing every school-aged child in the world with an internet-connected laptop. “We put 100 books on a laptop, but we also send 100 laptops. That village now has 10,000 books,” said Negroponte.
Back in June 2006, Jeff Jarvis wrote in The Guardian that books would disappear, so this is not a new theory. Negroponte, however, has put a deadline on his prediction. As eBooks gain in sales, and show up in libraries, on the Web, and become more social, physical book sales will continue to decline. If Negroponte is right, in five years time, we will no longer be buying paper books.