Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Brave new world ...

... may be on the way: How the E-Book Will Change the Way We Read and Write.


  1. The "Brave New World" of book technology has me wrestling with the question of with how this technology will affect my addiction to browsing and acquiring books at used book stores and libraries. Perhaps I am sufficiently close to the final sunset of my life that it will not really impact my addiction; however, I can see that "free" library services (i.e., the borrowing of books) might someday be a thing of the past. And how do used book stores fit into this brave new world? I'm not sure I can endorse and embrace the "Brave New World" of Kindles and similar electronic readers.

  2. I think books are going to continue to be with us. I also think the making of fine books is going to increase. As for used-book stores, I suspect they have more of a future than new-book stores, even if only as cafe-like entities supported by online traffic. More than 90 percent of the books in existence are out of print.

  3. You highlight something of a paradox that drives me crazy: "More than 90 percent of the books in existence are out of print." I cannot tell you how many times I have sought a particular out-of-print book that has been pulled from library shelves (ostensibly because it is too old or too infrequently borrowed), and my search moved on to used bookstores (including online outlets). The quest often ends in frustrating disappointment. If electronic preservation of such books became the only way to make them "eternally" available, then I suppose I would become a convert to Kindle-type devices. I would not like surrendering the tactile pleasures of the book-in-my-hands, but I would grudgingly appreciate the book's availability.