When I was younger, reading seemed more private and not so much advertised as it is now. I feel like now, people are more open about what they read and also that reading isn’t necessarily only for “nerds” to enjoy. For me specifically, books have become something that defines me whereas they used to be something I avoided. I didn’t appreciate what they could do until the 3rd grade, and after that, I was never seen without a reading book.
I suppose the main change books have gone through is the technology involved. Ereaders and ebooks didn’t exist until I was in high school I think. Even then they are completely different from what we see today. I remember my first Kindle didn’t even have a touch screen and now I don’t think you could buy one without such technology. With technology advancing, advertising for books has blossomed. Books have always relied on word of mouth and person to person reviews, today those things happen quickly and spread fast. Youtube channels, blogs, and websites dedicated to book reviews have pushed books far from the old ways of advertisement.
Future changes for books would probably involve more interactive readings. I can see links to websites or other such content embedded in the text of books. What would be really interesting is to see textbooks take jumps and become better tools for teaching with videos instead of pictures. Maybe even have the ability for teachers to embed their own links or partial lectures to help students understand what they learned in class. Ereaders will probably keep advancing just like smartphones to pull in more buyers. The number of ebooks will continue to grow as publishing them is easier than doing so in print. Books that are self-published make up a good portion of ebooks that are available now and will probably only grow for this reason. I still believe that print books will be a major player, even now they hold a good majority and I don’t see them disappearing anytime soon. Whatever the future, books are more than likely going to be there—no matter the format.