preservation and persistence of the changing book

wave of the future

Tonight I had a class on the Kindle with over a dozen students in our library school. At one point I mentioned that the average age of a Kindle buyer is probably 40. I guessed this because Kindle readers would need to be adept at reading paper books. The students each had a computer at their seats and most were searching for an actual result. The result was 49.

scan on demand

SOD has an earthy connotation, familiar and persistent. Perhaps print libraries are re-finding their social mission through on-demand printing from public domain books. This could adventure in many ways through the rich research library collections and re-adventure through as well. The premise of the leaf master includes the endless, quirky rescan.

syncopated reading

Enjoyable book reading requires navigation skills (turn to the previous page) and text decoding skills (the young aborigine was lost in the city). In both screen and paper books these two reading skills are syncopated and interdependent with the navigation skills applied to the physical device and the decoding applied to the content. (was lost in the city-turn to the previous page-The young aborigine)

Generally readers consider the content the most important aspect of books but perhaps they don’t fully appreciate that there is no reading without navigation of the devices. The position of the page button is a prevalent discussion issue with the Kindle while its linked page count between phone and device display is an attribute. The lack of “folders” (the simulation of classified inter-shelving of paper books) is considered a Kindle deficiency. Navigation ownership issues also pop-up over digital rights management where content is owned by the screen as contrasted by content ownership on transferable paper. Yet another navigational issue is purchase of content. Purchase for screen display remains in flux while purchase of paper is an established navigation.

A current interest in attributes of “materiality” of the paper book may have emerged with new navigational challenges of non-material screen books. If book content dominates reader interest the equal importance of refined navigational attributes may be obscured. Such navigational attributes include transmission across time and cultures.

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