Editor's note: Since 2009, the Book Industry Study Group (BISG) has surveyed consumers who have purchased ebooks, in an attempt to understand their behavior, and to predict the path of the ebook trend. The resulting study1 has led to many conversations about the future role of print. The subject has also spawned some spirited prose on the matter, including a recent blog, "Why Printed Books Will Never Die," by Josh Catone on Mashable.2 This particular piece prompted the BISG study authors, Steve Paxhia and John Parsons, to publish their own more or less friendly debate.
John Parsons (email@example.com), former Editorial Director of The Seybold Report, is an independent writer, ghostwriter, and editor. He is the co-author of the interactive printed textbook, Introduction to Graphic Communication, on the art, science and business of print, which has been adopted by Ryerson, Arizona State, the University of Houston, and many other schools and vocational training centers. Custom editions of the book are under consideration by major printing companies and franchises for internal training purposes.