21 February 2010

Reading in the so-called electronic age (Part one).

This is just a formative post about this topic.

In the end, I hope to have written a couple of entries about the e-book and what I perceive to be its impact on 'reading culture' (something with which I have struggled for years to try to define) because so many people have asked me what I think about e-book readers including the Kindle, and I have asked many people the same questions.

As a type of preparation for my writing (in a sense, this is a type of foray back into a world of academic writing that I cannot seem to break up with for good), I have pulled Sven Birkerts The Gutenberg Elegies from its spot on my bookshelf in the dining room. I will certainly have more to say about Mr. Birkerts' (now sixteen year old) book later this week or this month, but I will say one thing about it for now:  I am not as seduced by its monastic litany, the Kyrie Eleison, the prayers asking for the return of the old ways.

I am not a Luddite, nor am I so enamored with technology that I fail to stop to ask questions about its impact upon me and my fellow humans.  Since I work in an academic department with people for whom technology and its continued advancements are an integral part of life, I have grown much more appreciative of their intellectual missions and how their accrued knowledge very much contributes to my own growing sensibilities about what it means to read in 2010 as opposed to 1610 or even as far back as 1510.

It is not, I think, a bad thing for us to evolve and change as readers.  How we evolve and change as readers, writers and thinkers fully informs us how we used to (and still do in some cases!) read, write and think.

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