Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The next decade in books

Anis Shivani writes an excellent think piece on books and technology that we think gets it right. Maybe we're just tired of everybody in publishing running around like chickens with their heads cut off.

AS: It is the gatekeepers of the book who, in this last decade, have been on an unremitting mission to bring about the book’s destruction: librarians who purge books to make room for technological substitutes, newspaper publishers who’re the first to voice the irrelevance of the book review, publishers who do everything possible to fulfill their own prophecies of the end of the serious book. These gatekeepers in book culture are akin to politicians pronouncing the death of liberalism, and proceeding to do whatever they can to realize the predicted end. In the long run, both efforts are doomed. To posit the end (or marked decline) of the book is to posit the end of civilization itself; neither is likely to happen. What will happen is the lessening of the power of the guardians, who will be shown to be charlatans with queer death wishes. Their replacements are already in view. More...

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