Tuesday, 30 December 2014


Will Self is bummed out about the future of the physical book:
One thing is absolutely clear: reading on screen is fundamentally different from reading on paper, and just as solitary, silent, focused reading is a function of the physical codex, so the digital text will bring with it new forms of reading, learning, memory and even consciousness. I think this so self-evident as to scarcely require elucidation; the unwillingness of the literary community—in its broadest sense—to accept the inevitability of this transformation can only be ascribed to their being blinkered by the boards of their codices. The majority of the text currently read in the technologically advanced world is already digitised—and most of that text is accessed via internet-enabled devices. All the valorisation of the printed word—its fusty scent, its silk, its heft—is a rearguard action: the book is already in desperate, riffling retreat.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The physical book contains a type of power that becomes archeological in form particularly if the book is from 1672. For those of us who enjoy the fustiness of the ancient book and the baton passing of its many owners over time may disagree with the reductive voice of the digital argument. Technology does not replace older forms; it merely adds choice and variation. Viva diversity of material and virtual culture.