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Future of the book

14 Jun

Future of the book photo taken at Sydney Airport 12th June 2011

While stuck at Sydney airport in the liminal space of travel, neither here nor there, we encountered a hyperliminal space when informed successively of further delays. In the end, we spent five hours at the airport waiting to travel. We were shifted to different gates, a bit like herding cattle around the airport with much confusion of which direction to travel/follow. In the end you follow the one ahead and hope you arrive at your destination and of course it always helps to check and recheck the electronic departures noticeboards for your ever-changing information.

It is always interesting to be in this liminal state, it is not something you can control and there is certainly nowhere to go; your only option is to wait and wait and wait…

I couldn’t help but look around and observe how people cope. Beyond this, as most people always pack some form of entertainment, often a book, I was curious about books being read. It was at this point, I observed the lady sitting in the $2 massage lounger with what appeared to be a very old and tatty cotton bound book. The pages were so yellowed, parched and aged. My interest was aroused about what is this old book and as curiosity would have it I moved closer to try and read the title and the closer I moved a new discovery unfolded…

There after what appeared to be a few initial pages was a section cut out within the book and snugly sat an e~reader! I was beside myself with excitement that I launched boldly forth and asked the lady in the massage lounge whether I could take a snap of her e~reader for my blog. She was too kind and obliged and here it is at the top of this post.

We chatted a bit and she explained she loves e~readers for travel as they are light and provide plentiful supply of reading material. Can’t argue with that! I want one too!!

On another note the future of the book is a very interesting point to ponder and the following two links are worth exploring. The first link is The institute for the future of the book and to use the descriptor provided by the site, ‘We’re a small think-and-do tank investigating the evolution of intellectual discourse as it shifts from printed pages to networked screens.‘ 

The next link is if:book Australia and it is the Australian connection to The institute for the future of the book.

… on the same topic of the future of the book, Jennifer Byrne presented a special on this on her First Tuesday Book Club in early May this year.

The following blog electric alphabet is of interest. It is the blog from Kate Eltham who is one of the panelists discussing the future of the book with Jennifer Byrne on the ABC program The First Tuesday Book Club.

The article published in The Age today titled Booksellers outraged over minister’s predictions by Charlotte Harper and Clancy Yeates is of relevance when thinking about the future of the book.

…finally the following clip from youtube provides food for thought.

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