modern book burning

10Jan10

I was disturbed to read a headline at the end of December that said electronic books outsold real ones this past holiday season. My initial reaction was that I would never prefer to read an electronic version of a book over  a real one. I love the way a book smells and feels in my hands. Who cares if you can instantly download thousands of titles with little effort or carry thousands of books on one device when you can still only read one at a time?! Well apparently a lot of people do considering the recent sales and demands of these devices.

As I said earlier, my initial reaction was based on personal preference – a limit to what I will turn over to the virtual world. However, the more I thought about it the more I realized that electronic readers are new tools of  “the system”. Paranoia you say? Really? Think about it – every book you download is documented in a database or in other words; tracked. Furthermore, the system can better control what books are available – what the public reads or even has access to read – a new road to censorship. Where do the independent publishers, booksellers and libraries fit into this system? Um, they don’t.  How about borrowing a book from a friend or loaning one out?

I know that the media conglomerates control the majority of the book business today but the onslaught of electronic books will only add fuel to the fire – the fires of modern” book burning”. The masses are converging on a new technology without questioning what it may mean for the future of books or the future of freedom itself.

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One Response to “modern book burning”

  1. 1 anndar

    Here are some links I found about this topic:

    The e-book, the e-reader, and the future of reading: http://www.csmonitor.com/Books/2009/1221/The-e-book-the-e-reader-and-the-future-of-reading

    Enriching or Eroding? http://bookclubs.barnesandnoble.com/t5/Unbound-The-eReading-Blog/Enriching-or-Eroding/bc-p/438636#M1291

    Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Proust-and-the-Squid/Maryanne-Wolf/e/9780060933845/?itm=1


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