Ikea's Billy bookcase is one of the staples of every student's household. Is there anyone in the western world who hasn't owned this basic and cheap bookshelf at some time in their young life?
But alas, tomorrow's students will be denied this rite of passage. With the much-discussed decline in books, and the rise of e-books, Ikea has decided that no one needs bookcases anymore.
Instead the bookcase is being redesigned and its dimensions are being changed so that it will be deeper and more adaptable. They are even adding glass doors.
Ikea denies that the demise of reading is the problem. They say :
I hate to dispel those who think the bookcase is dead, we do not see it that way. We really see books as decorative. Books will still continue to be something used to adorn. They're rich and they're textured.
Ikea has found that customers are using it more for storing "ornaments, tchotchkes and the odd coffee-table tome." Hence the addition of glass doors: to protect all those valuables. Since Ikea is all about selling furniture, they are urging us to have a safe place for souvenirs instead.
It's not over for the book business yet. A Treehugger survey in 2008 showed that 10% of voters buy books. By 2009, 24% bought books and now in 2011, 81% of those surveyed loved the look and feel of the real thing.
Amazon figures for e-books are astounding, but it turns out that they all refer to hardcovers. When it comes to paper backs, people are still buying them when they come out as often as in the past.
More on E-Books
Will The Home Library Survive The e - Book ?
Survey: Do You Read e - books ?
Amazon's e - Book Sales Outpace Hardcovers;