Saturday, April 1, 2017

Turning Pages: The Case for Books

Alberto Manguel doesn't think the book will die because it is one of a handful of perfect things we have invented. "The codex is everything we want a text to be: portable, interactive, and it contains as much information as we want," he says. "Anything you require, the codex does it."

Manguel – novelist, editor, translator, librarian, essayist and long-time thinker on the subject of books and reading – is moving against the tide. For quite a while, we've been hearing about the death of the old-fashioned paper book, to be replaced by ebooks and other electronic devices.

But there are signs that tide is turning. After years of growth, publishers have recently reported falls in ebook sales. And new research from Murdoch University lecturer Margaret Merga has revealed that children with access to e-reading devices prefer paper books. They like the sensation of picking up a book and "feeling the weight of commitment".

This fits in with the research of two other lecturers, Loughborough University's Simone Natale and Birkbeck, University of London's Andrea Ballatore. In an article for The Conversation, they looked at "the myth of the disappearing book" and why it still persists.

Read article here at the Sydney Morning Herald

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