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Are We Witnessing the Ultimate Demise of Books?

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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Filed under: News

Publisher and Poet Reminds us of The Importance of Books

At a time when the very future of books is in question, Paul Wilson’s book The Invisible Library reframes the presence of books in the increasingly distracted world we live in and explores our passion for the book as an instinctive and cultural touchstone.

“Our relationship with the book over the past five hundred years has deeply shaped the way we imagine our world and our cultural identities,” says Wilson, “just as other technologies such as the tablet and smart phone are having a profound impact on how we communicate today. While e-books, for example, are an important innovation in publishing, there is no evidence that they will become a dominant force in the marketplace going forward.”

As both a publisher and author, Wilson understands that technology has changed the publishing landscape. Commentators have surmised that the physical book may soon become an object of nostalgia to be displayed as an antique; a part of our past we would soon put aside. But Wilson feels that there is ample reason to dismiss predictions of ‘the book’s’ ultimate demise. He believes the future of books will largely depend on the cultural choices of readers.

Wilson maintains that traditional books will continue to have a central place in our culture because ‘the book’ remains a powerful, portable and intimate technology that has survived the introduction of many new technologies, including radio, film and television. Books can be lifelong companions we return to again and again like renewing a conversation with old friends. And like old friends, it is easy to take books for granted.

The Invisible Library challenges the idea that books are a technology we can afford to leave behind.

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