Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Darnton on the Future of Books

Robert Darnton has a new book coming out: The Case for Books: Past, Present, and Future will be released on 27 October by Public Affairs. In a short piece for Publisher's Weekly, Darnton examines the rationale for the book, and writes: "In many societies, despite enormous inequalities, ordinary people not only read but have access to a huge quantity of reading matter through the Internet. I would not minimize the digital divide, which separates the computerized world from the rest, nor would I underestimate the importance of traditional books. But the future is digital. And I believe that if we can resolve the current challenges facing books in ways that favor ordinary citizens, we can create a digital republic of letters. Much of my book is devoted to this premise and can be summarized in two words: digitize and democratize."

There's much more here including some of Darnton's major conclusions, and I encourage all to read it (and for goodness sake read the book too!).

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