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The Case for Books: Past, Present, and Future

December 17, 2009

Electronification won’t kill off books entirely.

After introduction of  Kindle many people questioned logic of the physical existence of the book.  Will books survive in Kindle era, was the prominent question of discussion.

The case for books written by Robert Darnton explains about hopes of existence of the book. In one of the review  “Despite all the frightening digital scenarios, books will still remain the most important storage container of the written word. Kindle and other modern electronic reading equipment may fulfil some functional need but the new reading toys need energy input, and they are not sand-, water- or wine-resistant (traditional books don’t like those three elements either, but may survive exposure to them).”

But author also realises that the future is digital, and he has, it seems, done his best to pursue the dream of free access for all, while also making the case for books and libraries.

With the onslaught of electronification, we should not panic. There may even be some flip side to the tossed coin: digital technology and modern information systems can be used to support books and texts, tell us about their location and content, and thereby make it easier to reach the physical shelves in the shortest time possible – thus leaving more time for reading.

Full review here

About the Author:

Robert Darnton is Carl H. Pforzheimer university professor and director of the university library at Harvard University. Educated at Harvard and the University of Oxford, Darton was a reporter for The New York Times before becoming a junior fellow at Harvard.

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