Print is Dead: “In talking about the drawbacks to having the Book Review now appear mostly online, instead of in the actual newspaper, John Freeman from the NBCC states that ‘you can’t bring an online book page into the bath.’ This seems to me even more silly than Atwood’s claim simply because most book reviews aren’t immersive experiences. Instead, they’re created expressly for the purpose of consumption in one sitting. In fact, most reviews are tailor-made for digital delivery since short pieces are easily consumed on handheld screens or laptops. But Freeman seems to think that the fact that most of the Book Review appears online means that it somehow suffers from a ‘lack of portability,’ when it’s actually exactly the other way around. Digital content can be accessed in a myriad of ways, on dozens of devices and gadgets anywhere in the world (not to mention that it can be available forever in archives). Paper is a perishable object bound to a single location that can be easily misplaced, ripped or stained. Whereas content on a website is always there, forever unsullied and pristine, waiting for someone — anyone, anywhere — to touch a few keys and access its knowledge. However, according to Freeman, this is all a drawback. I guess he doesn’t want utility, connectivity, and interactivity; he just wants it to be water proof.”
© 2007, Edward Champion. All rights reserved.