As readers of a technology-focused website, you're probably more likely than most to be cheerleading the demise of paper books. Perhaps we shouldn't be so hasty, though — traditional books aren't without their advantages, not least longevity. A book is a book is a book, without DRM complications or hardware obsolescence to worry about, and it's with this in mind that Brewster Kahle is maintaining a $3 million repository in California with the ultimate goal of storing a single physical copy of every book ever published. Kahle is no Luddite, as the founder of the digital Internet Archive, but he has real concerns for the future of the written word:
“We must keep the past even as we’re inventing a new future. If the Library of Alexandria had made a copy of every book and sent it to India or China, we’d have the other works of Aristotle, the other plays of Euripides. One copy in one institution is not good enough.”
The repository is, appropriately enough, to be known as The Physical Archive of the Internet Archive. While digitized copies are expected to be more frequently accessed in day-to-day use, the Physical Archive will provide an optimal environment to preserve the paper copies as a future-proof failsafe.