Back to the Future…..of books

I found an interesting article online that coincides quite well with recent class topics of discussions that I thought I would share with you all. After reading Ramsay’s “Reading Machines” and “This is Not the End of the Book” by Eco and Carrier, there are many mixed opinions on what the future of the book will be in the next few generations. The article I found is titled “The Future of Books” by Andrew Losowsky and was written in 2011 so it is fairly recent. He discusses his belief that e-readers and tablets will essentially dominate the book world, but will not extinguish the physical book. His explanation for this is for nostalgic and aesthetic reasons; he relates this to the reasons that people still buy vinyl (which was brought up in class today) for the reason of appreciation for the original value it brings:
“[Books] will continue to exist for certain types of literature read by certain groups of people, just as vinyl still exists today. A book is a weighty precious object, but we’ve gotten quite lazy with them over the last 50 years, they’ve become quite low quality. We’ll see more focus on producing beautiful niche objects for those books that continue to be made, using a variety of new printing techniques.” (Lowosky)
People who want the “convenience” of an e-reader will enjoy the benefits that come with them, but something they lack quite significantly is the aesthetic and comforting value of a book. I would like to agree with Lowosky in saying the book will not be distinguished from the world but it will lose points in popularity; there will always be people who appreciate having the book in its utter wholeness, but these people are not the majority anymore.

The link to the article:

http://web.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.lib.ucalgary.ca/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=4044895a-2e86-43b1-bc0c-46e1e00abcdd%40sessionmgr15&vid=2&hid=23

If the link doesn’t work for everyone, here is the information to look the article up:

Losowsky, Andrew. “The Future Of Books.” Print 65.2 (2011): 71-74. Academic Search Elite. Web. 27 Mar. 2013.

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2 Responses to Back to the Future…..of books

  1. kathleen says:

    Thanks for sharing this! I think this is a really great summation of how I feel. I realized after class that I a lot of my opinions of the traditional book arise from nostalgia; Toby certainly made some good points, particularly regarding the increased interactivity of an e-book. I actually do see e-readers becoming more popular in the future, and if they bring in new readers, then by all means, let them sweep the nation. But I also agree (and hope) that books will be around for the long haul, because the nostalgia of a good book, a beautiful book, a wonderfully scented book (I know there are fellow book-sniffers out there!) can change the experience of an afternoon read. I like to think that they will happily coexist for a long time.

  2. ejmcneill says:

    I’m glad you enjoyed it, Kathleen! I thought it was a good article, though short, it is to the point and displays my opinion on the subject matter, also. I believe that though the book will be less popular with the majority of people, the people who DO appreciate books (like ourselves) will come to appreciate it that much more! Sorry about the tardy response to your comment, for some reason I don’t receive notifications.

    (P.S. I enjoy the smell of books, too. Does this make us weird?)

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