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Old 11-15-2012, 08:47 PM   #13
caleb72
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I really loved this comment:

Quote:
It's not the paper or the binding that define the book. It's the words. And more importantly, the reproduce-ability of the words. The article/exerp opens with a reading of a reproduction of the words from St. Augustine. If it were the paper that is important, then the author surely has no authority to write that quote since it is quite unlikely that he has read those words on the original paper they were written on. In real life though, he has actually read St. Augustine's actual words precisely because it is not the leather/cardboard/paper book that matters, but the words.

So if it is the words that matter, then the form of reproduction of those words matters very little. Every generation has advances in the way words are reproduced and distributed. We have ebooks; before us were paperback; before that was hardcover; before that was cloth; before that was leather; before that was wood. Every generation probably had someone who bemoaned the loss of the look, feel, smell etc. of wood/leather/cloth/hardcover/paper book of the generation previous. These people who apparently are busy reminiscing about an allegedly dying form of word container should be rejoicing that an even more reproductive form of word container has been produced which can scatter books and ideas over a much larger range than anything every known. The birth of the "e-reader" is the most significant step forward for the spread of human knowledge since the printing press.

Consider this: in St. Augustine's immediate 50 mile radius when he wrote those words, there were probably only half a dozen people who could actually read half of what he wrote, and there were probably only a few dozen who had actually ever seen a book up close before. That is the progress that books have brought to human knowledge, and the spread of portable electronic books will only accelerate that change.
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