I hope you’ll have a look at my bookreporter.com piece on books as sacred objects. In it, I explore the challenges to the physical book in a digital world where words and images are gaining an independent identity of their own.
“As a great lover of books, I felt myself not only drawn to their words, but to the physical presence of the books themselves — their smell; their weight; the way they absorbed, for used or library books at least, some strange essence of past readers. But with the words and the physical object of books starting to go their separate ways in the burgeoning electronic world, I always wondered if we were losing something… When the movie camera was first created, producers would set up static cameras and film plays to make movies. Putting the words of a novel on a Kindle is a similar first step that will seem silly to future generations. The digital world is about possibility, interactivity and connection, and the future of literature (thank you, Marshall Mcluhan) will adapt to the medium. Readers will interact with writers, and literature will seem more like a video game — a defined universe with many options — than a linear path from A to B. Some things will be gained, others lost, but the world of letters will be forever changed.”