Thursday, 26 April 2007

What is a book ?

First I saw the cover of an old novel pop up on my LibraryThing collection and then, a post about Ludditism on Digital History Hacks reminded me of the same novel, and today a post titled Bio-Optic Organized Knowledge Review, reminded me of it again.
The novel, Days by James Lovegrove is an old favorite of mine, and a significant section of the plot revolves around an escalating conflict between a book shop and a computer shop.

What sticks in my mind is this lovely piece about books, spoken by Miss Dalloway the Luddite bookshop manager.

"A book. As a source of easily retrievable information, portable, needing no peripheral support systems, instantly accessible to anyone on the planet old enough to read and turn a page, a book is without peer. A book does not come with an instruction manual. A book is not subject to constant software upgrades. A book is not technologically outmoded after five years. A book will never ‘go wrong’ and have to be repaired by a trained (and expensive) technician. A book cannot be accidentally erased at the touch of a button or have it’s contents corrupted by magnetic fields. Is it possible to think of a object on this earth more – horrible term – user-friendly than a book?"

That was written in 1997, when computers were outmoded in five years. (yeah right)

I've long since been waiting for the arrival of e-ink, I have wanted a good ebook reader for years and this post on Signal vs Noise, gives an encouraging review of the Sony Reader PRS-500 (massive image), encouraging enough for me to look around this room for something to sell.

Books they be changing.

No comments: