The End of the Book?

By Jeffrey Polet for FRONT PORCH REPUBLIC
http://www.frontporchrepublic.com/2010/10/13641/

The October 1st issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education contains three articles concerning the demise of the book. Jeffrey Di Leo argues that the modern academy ought to move zealously from a book-based culture to a digitial-based one. William Germano cleverly makes the “case” for books, all the while arguing that their particular form is less relevant than what is being transmitted. Finally, Diane Wachtell attempts to desacralize the book, arguing that the method of transmitting words (on paper, on screen) between author and reader is insignificant when compared to the form of transmission (narrative, or not). Readers on the Porch might be interested in weighing in on the fate of the book. The debate reminds me of an old cartoon I have where monks are seen protesting outside Gutenberg’s Print Shop holding signs such as “Your Presses Depress Us” and “Stop The Presses: Save a Monk’s Job.”

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