preservation and persistence of the changing book

Archive for July 28th, 2007


nothing darker than a dark screen

“Whatever the reasons behind the failure might be, yesterday was a rude reminder of how fragile our digital lives are. The seemingly invincible web services (not to mention the national wealth they signify) vanish with a blink of the eye. It was also a reminder, that all the hoopla around web services is just noise – for in the end the hardware, the plumbing, the pipes and more importantly, the power grid is the real show.” (from
Rough Type)

current book typography

“In 2004, he purchase a first edition of the Swedish version of The Lord of the Rings (1959-1961) and was amazed by the excellent flow and presentation of the text on each page. He realized that several major foundries had already done interpretations of Weiss – all of which were more or less true to the original. He didnít want to add to that list. Instead, Stefan has tried to find his own path with
Anziano and hopefully people will think that the design lives on its own.”

publishing hybrid

“I have been thinking a lot about why
Harry Potter has done as well as it has over this particular time
period. Of course, I don’t have any actual answers, but it does strike
me as not a coincidence that when the first book was published in 1997,
it more or less coincided with the first wave of widespread acceptance
of the Internet. Thus, it is likely that the “word of mouth” spreading
of excitement about the books was assisted from the beginning by that.”
Gail Chester

A very lively thread on
SHARP has discussed the vortex of promotion and obsession over the latest Harry Potter book.

homestead jobbing flies everywhere

An orphan slug, “jobbing flies everywhere”, made sense as the bugs invade from the goat yard and the press is marching (not rolling) and the Linotype is dancing out the lines. All in the summer heat and fires as we put out the latest Homestead Rocket and print posters for the baseball game.

Faithful students Bethany, Jessica and Cody are now among the Colonists as they bring continuity to the long tradition of printing and cooperative work in the Amanas. And perhaps the Center for the Book has entered through another
doorway into the study of the book.

dancing around the inevitable

“Courant also backed the idea that itís time to think about the book in different ways ó without fearing that this means the demise of the book. ìIf you actually want to read a book of, say, 370 pages, there is no good substitute for reading a book,î he said. But thatís not what most scholars are looking for. ìIf you canít search it and index it and access it with tools, except in a small number of areas, itís not nearly as valuable,î he said. If you add those tools, different people will make use of different parts of what are now thought of primarily as books in their entirety.”

destiny of the university presses may not be too different from book publishers generally. As they engage the technologies of PoD and maintain their distribution and retail presence for paper books the leverage of on-line discovery and searching of these works will become evermore extensive and cooperative. But that’s the point; the hybrid is a screen based bibliographic utilty combined with print copy.

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