The dead book society

Simon Jenkins: When it comes to kissing and telling, you cant beat this 15th-century gadget
I am baffled as to why this medium is still so derided by futurology gurus. My bulging file marked “death of the book” stretches back almost half a century. Alvin Toffler in 1962 declared in a book that the practice of smearing ink on dead trees was “the last smokestack industry” and would die. A decade ago, Geoffrey Nunberg, in The Future of the Book, declared that “if by books we mean bound printed volumes, then most books will likely disappear soon”. He wisely proffered no date.

Books on my shelfI was listening to another series of comments inspired by Cherie Blair’s memoirs as I was reading The Guardian (electronically) and came across Simon Jenkyns column. I’m fascinated by the way our thoughts so often lead us to the medium rather than the message, and here again it’s the book that’s more interesting than the memoir.

Christians were once known as the people of the book, but in their case the message is far more dynamic than the medium. As someone said recently in his observation of Christians, before he became one himself. ”

Christians are these people who are so judgemental, incredibly dull and uptight and yet they believe in something that is so insane it makes Lord of the Rings sound like a dull episode of the Archers.

 If you want to hear the whole talk it was given by Charlie Mackesy at Holy Trinity Brompton recently. You’ll love his jokes!

New Technology is still a million miles away from displacing the book – even now the only advantage of reading on screen is the immediacy – otherwise old tech print wins hands down for me.

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