preservation and persistence of the changing book



“He was intimately familiar with the many nooks and crannies in which the city’s residents have long hid their treasured manuscripts. While expanding the family’s compound a decade ago, he found a trove of manuscripts hidden inside a wall.”

The sagas of book preservation in Timbutu echo the deliberate and canny actions that hid the Nag Hammadi Gnostic gospels in the fourth century and enabled their survival into the twentieth century. The early sectarians would be disappointed to know that their manuscripts were roughly received sixteen centuries later when haste, hubris and greed deconstructed their bindings and destroyed their book formats.

whole service

“Use technology and services to increase the value of bookstores. Print-on-demand printers in bookstores. Ebook kiosks. Always-on wifi. Discounts on any ebook bought in-store. Book cafes. Readings and teach-ins. Book discovery events. Creches and play/reading areas for kids. There are loads of ways – it’s just that the WalMart approach of some bookstore chains has worked against them” TeleRead

Bookstores do not need help from readers who value item price first. Bookstores need advocates who value their whole services. Imagine you will visit but purchase nothing. At Amazon you will enjoy the personal suggestions and the book previews. In a bookstore you have the same pastimes although live rather than automated. In both visits you have fulfillment of time set apart for smart, stimulating entertainment that will also enrich relations with others. And who will not value a commercial operation with a harmless, efficient, elegant product where the customer is left in passive tranquility.

whole service 2

The displacement that may need debate is not manuscript to print or even the template of manuscript to print projected as a recurrent binary. Higher education is dealing with displacement from the classroom to the screen. What is recurrent is a lag of mobility of humanist studies behind sciences, law, and other disciplines.

A good diagnostic here is the adventure of independent bookstores. These are highly inventive with their allures and well situated to persist with their socializations of a life of the mind. At the same time on-line fulfillments surround them.

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