Printed page or Computer Screen?

Here is the opening paragraph of a thoughtful essay about the future of books and reading. "The book is modernity’s quintessential technology — 'a means of transportation through the space of experience, at the speed of a turning page,' as the poet Joseph Brodsky put it. But now that the rustle of the book’s turning page competes with the flicker of the screen’s twitching pixel, we must consider the possibility that the book may not be around much longer. If it isn’t — if we choose to replace the book — what will become of reading and the print culture it fostered? And what does it tell us about ourselves that we may soon retire this most remarkable, five-hundred-year-old technology?" One of my favorite comments: "For an increasing number of librarians, their primary responsibility is teaching computer research skills to young people who need to extract information, like little miners. But these kids are not like real miners, who dig deeply; they are more like ’49ers panning for gold. To be sure, a few will strike a vein, stumbling across a novel or a poem so engrossing that they seek more. But most merely sift through the silty top layers, grab what is shiny and close at hand, and declare themselves rich.”


I still say that books will survive as long as a generation of children are read to at night from a book--the association of books to such comfort breeds a familiarity that is eternally sentimental....

You know what I think? I think I hate freelance magazine writers.

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