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The E-Sylum:  Volume 9, Number 24, June 11, 2006, Article 26

FURTHER DISCUSSION ON THE INTERNET AND THE FUTURE OF BOOKS

Arthur Shippee forwarded another article from the New York Times
on the Internet and the future of books.  Here are a few excerpts:

"Hovering above the discussion of all these technologies is the
fear that the publishing industry could be subject to the same
upheaval that has plagued the music industry, where digitalization
has started to displace the traditional artistic and economic model
of the record album with 99-cent song downloads and personalized
playlists. Total album sales are down 19 percent since 2001, while
CD sales have dropped 16 percent during the same period, according
to Nielsen BookScan. Sales of single digital music tracks have
jumped more than 1,700 percent in just two years."

"Liberating books from their physical contexts could make it easier
for them to blend into one another, a concept heralded by Kevin Kelly
in an article in The New York Times Magazine last month.

"Once text is digital, books seep out of their bindings and weave
themselves together," wrote Mr. Kelly in an article that was derided
by Mr. Updike in his BookExpo polemic. "The collective intelligence
of a library allows us to see things we can't see in a single,
isolated book."

"Does that mean 'Anna Karenina' goes hand in hand with my niece's
blog of her trip to Las Vegas?" asked Jane Hamilton, author of "The
Book of Ruth" and a forthcoming novel, "When Madeline Was Young."
"It sounds absolutely deadly." Reading books as isolated works is
precisely what she wants to do, she said. "When I read someone like
Willa Cather, I feel like I'm in the presence of the divine," Ms.
Hamilton said. "I don't want her mixed up with anybody else. And
I certainly don't want to go to her Web site."

To read the complete article, see: Full Story

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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