What will come of the book

January 15, 2008

In working through aspects of this thesis I have come across a fair amount of literature on the future of the printed book. I knew going into this project that I would find such discussions but what is curious to me is our desire to weigh in on such a what if conversation. Yes the book in its printed form has been a fundamental tool to our society since its inception and yes today for the first time in history that which the book offered can now be offered by something else. But this new technology, right now culminating with the Kindle I guess but I have yet to see this new device in action, can it really replace the book? Or rather is this really a conversation worth having. Now I know that I have defended the value of this artistic conversation and in so doing have met many individuals who believe the entire conversation of defining art has no value and ultimately hurts art in our culture, I obviously disagree with that sentiment. But with the discussion over the plight of the book I really see no value. This new medium will create a new art, not a new platform for the same art. So the better question is will the old art die? I don’t think so either, writing has not died out after typing became available, and with that I don’t think print will go out even if this Kindle and its super screen that doesn’t strain eyes really does work. 

I guess the point of this post is to get that out, I’d rather these authors focus on what makes internet writing unique and new rather than waste time describing it as an improvement to the book. TV is not an improvement to film and VHS did not replace the cinematic experience. But on the flip side I don’t think those comparative arguments work either, because radio I do believe is on the out thanks to the internet and soon TV will follow. 

 But both of these mediums never established themselves like the book did and that may be its saving grace. It is part of our history and its tangibility along with its content is what makes it unique. 


So here I am complaining that this argument is occurring in these texts and by doing that I too am contributing to the discussion. Oh well back to the thesis…



Blogging as literature exactly

November 18, 2007

In working through this thesis I have stumbled upon something interesting, well many interesting things but for this post I have one in particular. I have realized through correcting typos of my own as well as managing incoming comments that in the end, despite all the social software advantages of blogs, they can be used to create exact digital replicas of books. Each post or rather each category can be used as chapters while the blog itself can be designed to simply maintain the internet publication of the book rather than physically publishing it.




Yes blogs have all these extra abilities but with most sites, those extra abilities are regulated through the blogger. Thus if one so chooses, a blog can be no different than a book and operate in exactly the same way.




This may seem simple and obvious to some but it does provide something important in the continued pursuit of mapping the blog; as a potentially different medium, it can be exactly the same.