Book on Future of Books Filled with ‘Dread,’ ‘Disgust’ for E-Books
From n+1 (Bones of the Book):
I recently bought a book about the future of books. It’s called The Late American Novel: Writers on the Future of Books, and features twenty-six authors (including two n+1 editors) describing what they think might become of literature. Given the collection’s prophetic subtitle, and that I was reading it on my new, still-extraterrestrial-seeming iPad, I was surprised to find that very few of the authors mention e-books. Those who do tend to regard them with dread and disgust, like a farmhand studying a handful of fallen locusts. One author compared e-books to astronaut food; another to Mortal Kombat. Another suggested that perhaps we could create e-readers that would exactly resemble books, with cardboard covers and hundreds of papery pages and so on, but whose cover graphics and print could morph from Salinger to Tolstoy in a click.
And, after a passage describing the need for the original book technology:
But now consider the e-book, displayed on a slim electronic tablet, which can relay exponentially more information at even less weight, with even greater functionality. The proponent of paper books will one day sound “like a Victorian–era man arguing the benefits of candelight over Edison’s newfangled electric lanterns,” Larsen writes. Indeed, an e-book needs multiple pages and a cardboard cover like a lightbulb needs wax.
Read more at n+1.