Books and Literacy in the Digital Age
By Ralph Raab
Can we grow technophiles who are also bibliophiles?
Robert Darnton of Harvard University makes this point in The Case for Books: Past, Present, and Future. Libraries are the one place in the world where books and technology meet. And since copyright issues will most likely never be resolved, people will always need to find a physical book on a physical shelf. Also, not every book can be digitized; there have been different versions of books throughout history, and permission will never be granted by every institution to digitize those editions. The works of William Shakespeare are an example: They have been changed and modified through successive editions over the last 500 years. We will never see every version of his works on Google.
And if you’re still thinking that I’m a little strange for dwelling so much on a book’s physical properties—size, shape, feel and, yes, even smell—consider this interesting tidbit from Darnton’s book: In a recent poll taken at a French university, 43% of students queried considered smell to be an important aspect of a book and refused to buy the electronic edition. CafeScribe, a French online publisher, has tried to counter this aversion to digital books by supplying stickers to their customers that give off a “bookish” smell when affixed to their computers. It turns out that the tactical and olfactory experience is just as important to a reader’s enjoyment of a book as its content.
Der ganze Artikel unter: http://www.americanlibrariesmagazine.org/features/07132010/books-and-literacy-digital-age