Sunday, November 15, 2015

Books and Reading

Those who set up oppositions between the electronic technology and that of the printing press ... want us to believe that the book—an instrument as perfect as the wheel or the knife, capable of holding memory and experience, an instrument that is truly interactive, allowing us to begin and end a text wherever we choose, to annotate in the margins, to give its reading a rhythm at will—should be discarded in favor of a newer tool. Such intransigent choices result in technocratic extremism. In an intelligent world, electronic devices and printed books share the space of our work desks and offer each of us different qualities and reading possibilities. Context, whether intellectual or material, matters, as most readers know. (Alberto Manguel, "Conversations with the Dead," NYR Daily, 2015-08-14)

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