Thursday, February 9, 2012
Reading Into This
~ Jeff Mayersohn, owner of the iconic Harvard Square Book Shop on The Universal Hub
* While e-book sales continue to grow, there is mounting evidence that publishers are taking notice of this desire, and catering to a growing market for top-quality, collectable books.
The Folio Society, a London publisher dedicated to illustrated hardback editions of classics, currently has a membership list of 100,000, and has recently started selling books online to non-members, as well as in select locations such as the British Museum, Fortnum & Mason's and Paul Smith. Now, the company's publishing director David Hayden says, "other publishers are catching up to the power of the beautifully designed book. That is a function of the extremely rapid move to digital reading".
Hayden describes himself as pro-tech, but argues that "the physical book is still an incredibly effective piece of technology. Your memory of reading a book, all the tactile associations that go with that, are still very powerful".
~ Jessica Holland, Long Live the Printed Book at The National
* When it comes to the longevity of paper book technology and virtually any digital technology, there is simply no comparison. Assuming that the paper a book is printed on isn't too acidic and it's well-kept, it will last for literally thousands of years.
Digital formats have evolved quickly and it's likely they will continue to evolve for the foreseeable future. Even if we assume that digital storage formats won't ever change again and we'll always have access to computers than can read them, the physical media itself simply breaks down in a matter of years.
The thousand year view is simple: if you're going to commit knowledge to writing in some form, you need to ensure that it will exist and be readable in a thousand years. I can tell you that I've personally gained insight and understanding about our world by reading a lightly-distributed instruction manual for rural, parish priests in England — written in the fourteenth century. Will an independently-created iBook 2 textbook be around in the thirty first century?
~ Dieter Bohn, The Verge (More of his great article on E vs. Paper here)