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The Future of the Humanities: Reading

Resource Author:  Michael Dirda
Resource Date:  11/11/2015
Resource Name:  Humanities
URL:   Link to Source Article or Site

Reading always seems to be in crisis. Two and half millennia ago, Socrates inveighed against the written word because it undermined memory and confused data with wisdom. When the codex—the bound book—appeared, some conservative Romans almost certainly went around complaining, ‘What was wrong with scrolls? They were good enough for Horace and Cicero.’ Gutenberg’s press gradually undercut the market for illuminated manuscripts. Aldus Manutius, inventor of the pocket-sized book, rendered huge folios a specialty item.

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Lazerbook

Resource Author:  Jonathan Spira
Resource Date:  4/2/1996
URL:   Link to Source Article or Site

The LazerBook is Basex’  foray into the future of book publishing and distribution and was conceptualized by Jonathan Spira.  It does, of course, not exist today, and probably will not be practical for some time.

However, in carefully analyzing the direction that the book publishing industry must take, it has become apparent to us that the prediction that “books will disappear” is ill-advised. Most notably, pundits have predicted that books, as we now know them, will be replaced by will be replaced by electronic tablets, perhaps similar to screens on a laptop computer.  Sony, in fact, tried this approach with its ill-fated Bookman product, introduced in 1991.   In our view, customers were predictably slow to turn to a pocket television-screen-sized device for their reading pleasure.

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