Sunday, January 02, 2011

In this Year, Books Are Not Going to Disappear

We continue to be reminded that printed books are not going to disappear. David Ulin, LA Times book critic, provides a compelling defense of the value of reading books in his The Lost Art of Reading: Why Books Matter In A Distracted Age (Seatlle: Sasquatch Books, 2010). He sees the reading of books as an "act of contemplation" (p. 16) whereas the present more prevalent browsing of blogs, web sites, and so forth Ulin characterizes as "an odd sort of distraction" (p. 34). Ulin's text reminds you of earlier works such as those by Sven Birkerts, and for those who still buy and collect books that is not problem. Jo Steffens, ed., Unpacking My Library: Architects and Their Books (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2009), is testimony to the value of books, featuring interviews with New York architects and engaging photographs of their libraries.

1 comment:

Peter B. said...

Digital reading is on the rise, but I have not heard any predictions that book will disappear completely. Just like distribution of VCR has not killed movie theaters, while taking some of its audience. People want a variety of ways to access media. At the same time, I believe, book industry need to adjust and think which kind of books should be published on paper. Pulp fiction "read once and recycle" and textbooks might be the most endangered species.