Lynn Coady. Who Needs Books? : Reading in the Digital Age.
She acutely unknots the tangle of concepts:
The problem with this conversation we’ve been having over the past couple of decades is that it perpetually confuses capitalism with technology and technology with culture itself. Technology exists apart from, but is profoundly influenced by, capitalism, and the same can be said of culture. And just because our still-new technologies are currently having a profound impact on our culture, doesn’t mean our culture would be any better or worse off without them — it would simply be another version of itself.
What enables such distinctions is the focus on the phenomenology of reading:
The fact that some of us prefer to enact this with a sheaf of printed pages between two bound covers, and some would rather use a Kindle or Kobo doesn’t make that experience any less magical, or less singular. Here is why, according to author Rebecca Solnit:
The object we call a book is not the real book, but its potential, like a musical score or seed. It exists fully only in the act of being read; and its real home is inside the head of the reader, where the symphony resides, the seed germinates. A book is a heart that beats only in the chest of another.
The desire readers have for this singular, magical experience, no matter what kind of technology provides it to them, is, I assure you, never going away.
Coady quotes from Solnit’s The Faraway Nearby and we are thrilled by the beating of the thrice transposed.
And so for day 1723