Another fine link you’ve led me to….
Literary pundits are fretting: Can books survive in this Facebooked, ADD, multichannel universe?
To which I reply: Sure they can. But only if publishers […] provide new ways for people to encounter the written word. We need to stop thinking about the future of publishing and think instead about the future of reading.
Read the whole article here.
I haven’t decided yet what I think about this, but I have often wondered if many of us don’t fetishize the physical book. Certain of the books I own came to me in ways that invested them with overwhelming sentimental value, others are simply too beautiful as objects to exchange for a pool-of-pixels format. And, as someone who suspects we’ve already reached peak oil, I wonder about the long term viability of digital media, so utterly dependent as they are on fossil fuels.
Experientially, I simply can’t imagine replacing a completely portable, tactilely and visually satisfying book with a Web page bordered by flashing ads for Viagra, sexy babes in my ZIP code, the latest bombshell flick from Jerry Bruckheimer’s assembly line, and yet another Larry King interview with ex-Miss California. I admit to being intrigued, though, by the Kindle—though almost none of the books I read are ever likely to be available for it. Even if they were, would I willingly trade the earthy physicality of the page for the synthetic physicality of a screen?
As Socrates (I’m sure) once said, ditching the interrogative mode, “Never say never.”