Books are not dying out and this is not the reason for the WT turning to tablets

by slimboyfat 18 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • pepperheart
    The only reason is to save the watchtower money.
  • Finkelstein

    Another advantage is that electronic books can be more readily updated and/or "recalled" online without leaving irrefutable hard copy evidence behind for future generations to point at their silly teachings

    Island Man might be on to something there.

  • jw news 2017
    jw news 2017

    Thank you for this, it's increased my belief that the litterature well, is indeed drying up.

    ... And therefore, the more litterature that is collected and safely disposed of, the more the general public will be protected and it will also help towards the collapse of the tower...

    Freeing victims and children who are currently trapped and at its mercy...

    Less spectators


    More participants


    Greater results

  • Fisherman

    SBF, your article was very well written and very interesting to read.

  • OnTheWayOut
    1. While it's long been predicted that ebooks will replace physical books, recent figures show ebook sales are down and physical books are up. In terms of value, physical book sales have never been higher. Ebooks now look more like a fad and/or a niche interest than a wholesale disruption of the book market.

    Yes, ebooks were a fad and, like me, people have learned to hate them and go back to books. However, books peaked in 2007 and despite a slight increase over the last couple of years, books are not back up where they were. They may never go back. And a huge part of the bump up is adult and children's coloring books and other children's books. Print is very expensive- the internet and cost have severely hurt MAGAZINES and books may go back to decline in the future when prices continue up for ink and paper and printing vs. posting electronically. And people are reading books and mags less and less because they need to go on social media and email.
    2. It's true that many bookshops have closed down. The reason for this is that people are buying their books online not at local bookshops. And they are buying tons of books online.

    Yes, that is true. But think about it. Borders and Barnes & Noble sold Kindles and Nooks and hurt themselves because their own customers got ebooks, many from Amazon. Now, people like me love physical books, but we find them on the electronic media where we continue to see the price of the books vs. the price of the ebooks. Eventually, ebooks will win.
    3. The reason newspapers are in decline is because the Internet provides instantaneous news these days. This is a challenge for newspapers in particular, not for printed media in general. Most (or all) books and magazines contain information with a much longer shelf life than a daily newspaper. So they are simply not as vulnerable to decline in the face of the Internet as newspapers are. It's the immediacy of news that makes newspapers vulnerable to online alternatives rather than the printed page being out of date.

    Mostly true. Magazines continue to decline. Newspapers are actually faring better. Most people who have abandoned newspapers already have, so they hold their own until their customers pass away.

    4. It's true that DVDs and CDs and various other media technology have become pretty obsolete. But there are advantages to the physical book that still make it an attractive option compared with alternatives, and in ways that simply don't apply to other forms of media. Plus it's worth remembering that books have been around 2000 years whereas DVDs and what else have only been around a few decades at most.

    Yes. I can leave a book on my beach chair and go snorkeling. I don't have to worry about a battery. Books may survive yet, but I doubt it. Paper and print will die out, hopefully not in our lifetimes. Just as you say about Watchtower, "Publishing printed material of any quality or quantity is simply a luxury the WT can no longer afford," it will become true for all printed materials some time in the future.

    On the subject at hand, yes- Watchtower is not gaining money in leaps and bounds from print. But I highly doubt they were losing money from print in the 1990's or even still today. They just weren't making enough money on print to cover the losses in other areas.

    Even my mother, a JW who months ago said she didn't want a tablet, just got a tablet. So JW's are late arrivals to the "fad" of ebooks, and will hate it, but will have no choice but to say they love it. The tablets will be loaded with video and will cause JW's to read less. The less they read, possibly the less they are repeatedly indoctrinated by JW doctrines. Video on the tiny screen just won't have the same effect, so they may go the way of Borders Bookstores, but it's a much slower decline.


    Another advantage is that electronic books can be more readily updated and/or "recalled" online without leaving irrefutable hard copy evidence behind for future generations to point at their silly teachings as is currently the case with all the nonsense they've left in print from decades ago.

    Took this screenshot from the official website.

  • LevelThePlayingField

    Slim, I love reading your posts. They often talk about things that are on my mind but can't quite figure out. I think you are right about the whole thing. I think that if they could still sell literature, then the tablet would still be evil.

  • slimboyfat

    Following fastJehu's link on the previous page I came across this letter from the Society in 1991.

    This was one year after the new "donation arrangement" had been introduced to replace charges for the literature. Notice at the end of the letter it makes the comment:

    Although funds received for the worldwide work have diminished somewhat over the last year, we are confident that Jehovah will continue to bless these arrangements.

    In my recollection (limited as I was young) brothers were pretty good about donating the right amount for the literature for the first few years (they kept a sheet with prices behind the desk) and this gradually diminished over time. So if the Society was already noticing a reduction in donations within the first year, then we can only assume that it got even worse in the following years.

  • Doubting Bro
    Doubting Bro

    The decision to not charge for literature was likely the biggest financial blunder the WTS ever committed. Because, once that horse was out of the barn, it wasn't coming back. They could have continued charging and just charged sales tax and remitted like a normal business. But, they likely mistakenly thought that the voluntary donation "arrangement" would generate sufficient funds because JWs would continue "donating" the same amount for literature as they used to. Remember, you paid for the literature upfront and then sold it to the public. Of course, there were some that donated whatever they received but most didn't. What happened is that without the specific charge associated, JWs stopped giving that amount and thought their normal contributions were covering the cost of the literature.

    For example, if the rags were 50 cents each and you got 5 sets a month,so that's $5 to the literature servant. Then say you donated $10 per month to the worldwide work. OK that's $15 total. What the WTS thought would happen was that the WWW donation would move to $15. What happened was it stayed at $10.

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