Will books survive?

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This week I’m will be at the Frankfurt Book fair – which is the most important book event there is- since I was invited to open it on the 14th of October. There will be a press conference on the opening day and on the 15th I will throw a party where most of you will be present through the pictures you sent to the virtual exhibition and also with your hearts.

Given this context, this week I want your opinion on the following matter: will books survive?
This is the question that the book fair is raising and in my speech I say that books will not disappear since there is free content flowing on the net. Said this, many fear sharing content while I think that a solution can be reached in which publishers, authors and agents will agree upon. In my eyes, the wrong way is to be greedy and consider that content shouldn’t be shared and that internauts are mainly pirates. My speech – that will be posted here tomorrow – talks about this: that there are no pirates in internet but people eager to share content.

So I want you to share your ideas on books, free content and on what’s going to happen in this new context.

As you know, I’m a strong supporter of contents for free (with Pirate Coelho and Internet Books) and therefore I’m eager to hear your opinion on this subject. Since there will be more than one press conference in Frankfurt, I’m planning to access my blog and share your views with the journalists at the fair.

Thank you for your support.


  1. Sir Coelho, I think that books will survive but not for long. Honestly I am enjoying now the ebook because you can have with you multiple books in a single gadget which is my laptop. And it is very kind of you to be an advocate of free sharing of content. I also agree with it. Nice blog of yours here. Thanks.

  2. Hey in my opinion this is one of the most debated topic of this decade.. Books are the best friends one can ever have and as humans they occupy a great part of the life we have lived no one can separate it from us.
    No matter how tech savvy we may become but the satisfaction of holding a book and reading it will always be awesome.. no gadget can replace it.

    Books will always survive & e-books will be to complement them.

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  4. olive says:

    definitely, books will survive.. as I quote it from an article in Yahoo,(sorry, I forgot the writer’s name), it doesnt need to be booted up, if water is spilled on it– you may still be able to read it, you can even just borrow it from a friend or the library and many other reasons…
    in the advent of technology, I’d still prefer to lie down on the couch and read a good paperback than scan its content from the web..im traditional..and i’m more gratified that way..:)

  5. sneha says:

    Of course books will survive!! Reading as I know it as, is synonomous to books. Books are romantic. The internet reading cannot replace the simplicity of being able to hold a book in your hands, in the comfort of your bed, by the beach, in a hammock, and you name and think of other locations, to which a book can add beauty to. I love books and I love reading. Of course I love the internet too, as I am regular at this blog… But thats because I love Paulo Coelho and his work. But yet I am an avid and regular internet”er” as I am a read”er”.

  6. Conquistar Chicas says:

    Llegué a tu blog de casualidad y vi que todo lo que escribes es bastante interesante. Ya llevo un rato navegando por aquí­. Agregaré la dirección a mi lector de noticias. ¿Tienes tiempo?, comenta en mi blog. Nos mantenemos en contacto!

  7. ajantha says:

    what do you mean by books? in our time we know books printed on papers and with covers. They are all about our knowledge, stories, history and wars etc.,etc., But with the begining of mankind different form of writings were known, some were written on slates with arts and different ways, still archeologists study the findings of this nature of writings.
    So books will lasts for ever but not on printed form. there will be different forms but now we are reaching for eBooks.

  8. rosekey says:

    boks r for human beings will survive till humans are.

  9. cristina says:

    Books will survive as long as there will be people to read them.
    Always will be…..

  10. […] Your Opinion on : Will books survive? Will books survive? This week I’m will be at the Frankfurt Book fair -… […]

  11. lestat says:

    I think one of the reasons why people wouldn’t want to share information on the internet is fear aside from greed.

    They cannot limit readers from reading books that might be—against their belief, religion, age, etc. etc.

    But I believe, books will still survive. But I don’t know when some people will empathize.

  12. Ellie says:

    I think that the internet and freedom/free flow of information is a great thing, and it is fantastic that people can share information quickly in this way. But there is something about books and the printed word that is quite unlike looking at an electronic screen.
    While the importance of being able to access information and share it instantly is a great thing, I don’t think people will ever lose the need to hold on to the more tangible solidity of a book or document that has been crafted and laboured over far more than something that can be typed out and instantanously sent out into the world in the way that it is possible to do on the internet. (not that everything on the internet is by proxy dashed off, but rather that it doesn’t not have to be in the way that a book does)

  13. shruti says:

    Dear Paulo,
    I think that books will survive the new age and beyond .This might be more of wishful thinking than an actual belief but my reasoning for that is ,that books are personal unlike any other form in which literature is published. I am sure when you were young and read books u must have folded page tops, scribbled on the sides your thoughts or observations regarding the written word. Or may be you didnt , may be you you took pride in keeping your books in immaculate condition, like a proud collector.
    This thread between us and how we feel about our books is a relationship we share with it , which is apart from the feelings we have towards the story or the writer of the book.Both these aspects only adding to the personal bind between a book and us.
    No man knows better than that, no the books wont be forgotten. From the cave walls to begin with, to the papyrus we used to write on and then finally to the books fragile and yet endearing . The era of the books has been the most eventful and long and there is a lot more that lies ahead of this age.As long as we need to learn and dont just need to know, about all that there is the books will survive.

  14. Viv says:

    I thought I might be the only one to think that books may not survive but Kryztof beat me to it.
    It would a sad thing but sadder things would be the precursor to it. Books in the end, are a luxury in a world where people are starving.
    I am sorry to even think it but the way the world sometimes seems to be going, there will be a smaller and smaller space left for books as we know them now.
    Maybe to be more upbeat, books will grow fewer but the value we place on them may grow and more people may view a physical book as a treasured possession or even a friend or mentor.

  15. Bondar Artem says:

    Dear Paulo.
    My name is Artem and I live in Ukraine, in Kharkov. I study on a geographical faculty. After reading of your books I began
    anymore to pay attentions to the life and first, that I noticed it the emptiness in the eyes of passers-by. At us a wonderful
    city, wonderful fountains, parki, architecture. But nobody, quite nobody notices it. All go around with the dropped eyes,
    nobody wants to notice that created Lord for us. I write it not simply so, I wanted to say you, that your creation let me
    see veritable sense of life. Forgive me for bad English, I teach German, and for translation of letter took advantage of
    electronic translator.

  16. Krzysztof from Krakow says:

    Dear Paulo,

    of course, the books will not survive. Unfortunately, I must say.
    Because books need their readers. And a reader is a special kind of human being, open for others’ ideas, curious about others’ stories, ready to be involved in others’ “magic” world. Very generally, we can say, books require a kind of people who distinguished humans from “outer world”. There were a number of such people, always very limited (5-10% ?) in the past, but they did they work and now we live probably in the last century, when they are tolerated, yet.
    Nowadays, we are witnesses of revolution which will totally change our race. Sure, we don’t realize it, because we are in the middle of this process, we are “objects”, not “subjects” of this revolution.
    In fact, we have bad luck, to participate in two independent revolutions which will totally change our life. Every of these revolutions created their heroes, who lead us toward future.
    First revolution is a democracy – majority is right, all minorities must respect it. And a majority gives their votes to men who can promise more. Because majority is not a group of our dreams. This majority is totally absent here, because they don’t need any blogs, any ideas, any books, any doubts. They need only to eat well, to drink well, and to have the best possible things, best house, best car, best tv set. It doesn’t depend of fact how rich they are – only meaning of this “the best” can vary. They choose politicians who are similar to them – try to imagine, how many worldwide political leaders of the world could be fans of your books? Of any books? May be, beside the handbook to be a leader ;-)
    The general aim of this group is to grab as much as possible from the innovative hard work of minority which is more ambitious. They invented a perfect tools for it – taxes, political correctness, parliaments etc.
    The second revolution has just begun, it’s continued for roughly 15 years. This revolution gives us an opportunity to exchange knowledge, technology, economy, experience with whole world in real time. We feel, that something changed, but we don’t realize how serious is this change. Internet, mobiles, airlines development, global banking, economy and industrial co-operation make our world as a little town from old centuries, where everybody can meet everybody every day (MacLuhan was right, but I’m sure, he didn’t think it would be so soon!). The problem is that this new world of possibilities is pretty hermetic. Sure, there is a thin surface, which can be used by the most of people – to write a letter to my aunt, to read last news, to look at some porn, to submit one’s deepest opinion about new revelations on some very famous singer or movie star.
    It’s also important that suddenly you can get any knowledge you want – just in seconds. And everybody can be an author (the problem is how to separate “everybody” from these very few people, who have really something new to offer).
    But it’s another, much deeper layer, so complicated, that can be managed only by very limited group of specialists – informatics, physics, engineers, bank advisers etc. They are able to create, using all above mentioned tools, quite new technical reality, huge added value and mainly, very real power over other people lifes.
    And now we can just observe the begining of fight between these two groups, mortal fight, I think.
    Of course, every of these groups could be interested to introduce us, “regular book readers” as their supporters. Because they intuitively feel, that they have one deficite – or they are “too stupid” to read books, either “too intelligent” to do it.
    It’s reason, that now we don’t feel a fear yet. But remember, it’s just a begining of fight. Its nature determines no doubts – in near future, may be even in next generation, you will be able to access to one of these groups or you will be destroyed – in physical or symbolic sense.
    The paradox is that the best scenario, which we could expect is, that one of those counterparts will win this war early. If politicians – the great non-evitable economic crisis (a soft-probe can be observed now!) could drive people again to the roots. If “technicians” – the huge number of excluded people who simply will stop to understand the world and to have influence for anything, can start to look for “soul guides”, new leaders, the only ones who will be able to offer any alternative for technology.
    The worst possible solution – they commit agreement between them – to share power and profits. The worst, but the most probable, unfortunately.
    So, enjoy ourselves with our books (i.e. your wonderful “The Fifth Mountain”, “Confessions of a Pilgrim” or immortal “The Alchemist”), but let’s be conscious, that we’re the last such generation, for which the smell of fresh ink in a new printed book is a mystic and mysterious value and for which a reading of books is a kind of the most intimate conversation with an author.

    The kindest regards from magic Krakow, from a reader of your books – they changed my life

  17. Hicham says:

    Dear Paulo,

    Being a fan of e-writing + e-publishing myself, the e-publishing community is important for archiving, scanning, and digital activities however I still believe that ‘normal books’ have their own flavor and magic because reading a book is a great experience for me!

  18. Adail Vilela de Almeida says:

    Dear Paulo,

    nice to talk with you.
    First we have to think about the difference between ‘pirate’ and ‘share’ – why not share Paulo’s?
    I agree with you: books will survive – they’re links to our concrete lifes; our souls need to take the material thing and say, when the reading finish: I could! We need to take the knowledge to us and say to our primitive minds: I have this! But the books probably decrease in the near future – perhaps we’ll need to book them…

  19. Matt says:

    I think that, as the quality of e-reader hardware gets better (and their price gets lower), more people will turn to e-books instead of paperback. That will probably lead to an increase in illegal downloading (since it is free) and that could have an impact on sales and revenues for the writers and publishers. So the only way for the book industry (or the music industry for that matter) to survive, would be to offer the content for free, and have some kind of advertisement embedded into it. So perhaps the books will turn into web pages, with some advertisement flash windows embedded into them.

  20. nho(spain) says:

    http://es.youtube.com/watch?v=FvzTNhVb9Y4 Masuro Emoto and the soul of book. hope you enjoy it.

    Es una pregunta que se embarca en una predicción del futuro, leyendo el debate pienso que todos tenemos razón.
    Remontandonos desde que el hombre empezo a expresar sus emociones o deseos en pinturas cavernicolas, hasta que la escritura fue no solo historia, novelas, y escritos, sino comunicación.

    Por eso la escrtura siempre sobrevivira, pero el concepto se perdera en la evolución, por la modernización o la tecnologia.
    Claramente hablamos de un futuro, donde quizás el libro sea de por si un fosil o una herramienta antigua, pieza de coleccionistas.

    Opino que las probabilidades del libro ante la pantalla y el teclado, son bastante bajas, es más funcional un teclado y una pantalla que escribir un libro o distribuir un libro.

    Por otra parte el libro tiene un aliado, su espiritu …
    Me gusta pensar en el trabajo de Masuro Emoto, y decir que el mismo agua que compone el libro lo hace mistico!! y habla por si solo!!
    Creo que un libro es muy especial, pero dudo que en generaciones proximas se siga compartiendo el mismo amor por los libros, y quizás solo dependamos de pantallas y tecnologia digital.

    Sim embargo la respuesta es “si” los libros sobreviviran hasta que el humano los quiera conservar.
    Imaginaros un titular del 3090, museo de New York, último libro en la faz de la tierra.

  21. wojciu says:

    Nie mam watpliwosci, ze przetrwaja. Jak na razie co najmniej maja sie dobrze. Przypadek Coelho, Rowling, Kinga i wielu innych dobitnie o tym swiadcza – nigdy czyba wczesniej w historii ksiazki nie byly drukowane i czytane w tak ogromnych nakladach.
    Przy okazji – Gratulacje Paulo – you’re the great man, and your books mean a lot for me. Keep fighting Warrior of Light. I will drink for you tonight!!!

  22. Paco says:

    I think that books never will die, on the one side they are part of the culture, on the other side they are the best friends you can imagine. In the moment I am reading a book for the second time, which I bought 35 yaers ago (The Drifters by Michener) and which had a great influence to my youth, it helped me in my evolution, and to my whole life.
    On the other side I think it is good to post books in the internet too for all the people who can´t aford books because they have not much money, and this group is growing in this days and in the future.
    The only important in our human life is art, music, literature and painting, it is permanent, and everybody should have access to it.
    So thank you a lot, Paolo.
    With greetings from Lanzarote