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Re: Books of the Future



On Sat, 11 Apr 1998, QUEERBOOKS wrote:

> Books of the Future
>
> Since the choices this morning were: to either clean up the studio or catch up
> on filing, I decided to re-visit a file I've been maintaining for about eight
> years labeled "Books of the Future".  There were a few laughs (remember "magic
> eye" pictures??!!), but many more insightful observations from a host of
> commentators on the emergence of the electronic media as a means to store and
> share information.  I'm posting several highlights as separate messages.  Be
> sure and notice the dates.  They are from 1993 and 1994.
>
> The one thing that has helped me deal with new technology is to remember that
> we don't have to make choices.  It's not an either/or situation.  We are not
> being asked to throw out our leather-bound codices and to replace them with
> electronic texts.  All we are being asked--if we are so inclined--is to create
> new space in our libraries for new types of books.  Hey, I'm game.
>
> It's been decades now since the end of movie houses was first forecast.  It
> began with the introduction of television, then came videos and it is now the
> satellite disk that is going doom movie theaters.  Wrong.  People who have a
> TV, a video player and a satellite disk, still go to the movies.  It's the
> same way with books.  The traditional book will not be replaced, but it is
> fated to exist side-by-side with new ways of recording and sharing
> information.
>
> It's important to note that not every book and all information deserves
> permanent ink on acid-free paper.  Is it possible that recording the vast
> amounts of data being generated today in an electronic way will free up
> increasingly scarce materials for worthier projects--our artist books, for
> example?
>
> Rather than replacing traditional books, new electronic books might create a
> greater interest and appreciation for hand-crafted volumes.  If books are as
> wonderful as we think they are, then they will not suffer from the
> introduction of new structures and techniques.
>
> I'm looking forward to having to having more choices in book formats.   When
> the time comes, I am going to choose them all.
>
> Ed Hutchins
>


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