Friday, December 1, 2017

Downfall of IT Books

[Knowledge Wins It All]

If memory serves, the years between 1995 to 2005 was a golden age for IT books. I remember feeling the joy just by browsing those books in the bookstores – let it be Borders, MPH or Popular Bookstores. After that period, IT books, and also engineering books, started to disappear from the shelves.

It didn’t just happened here in Malaysia, but worldwide. I was in USA, or exactly in Orange County, California, and I witnessed the same phenomena. It was only a half year time from early Fall 2008 to early Spring 2009. There was a shopping mall called G-Orange, around which you can find Borders bookstore. At the beginning of my staying there, I saw an abundance of IT books, then towards the end, I saw the shelves was shrinking. And too bad I think even that Borders itself closed down.

Not only to technical books, this also happened, and is happening to other types of printed media like magazines and newspapers. I saw this happened to my favorite humour magazine – Gila-Gila. Even my favorite new paper, Utusan Malaysia, reported of lost.

Why did this happen? The immediate reason is obvious to even a novice IT people. It is due to the fact that there are so many PDF format e-book nowadays. And many of those are free. With the digital book who needs physically printed books? Ironically enough, PDF e-book was invented by IT people. So IT people were responsible for the disappearance of IT books.

Specifically for IT books, there is another reason. There are many books on specific versions of software. For example books on Microsoft Excel 2013. When there is a new version of Microsoft Excel released, do you think people still need the book on version 2013? And do you think the books on version 2013 will be sold out by the time the new version was released? Publishing books on specific expiring products like this is so bad an idea.

Perhaps in a few decades these books will be in museum.

📖 Books 📖
📕 will never extinct 📕

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