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Is print dead?

April 15, 2009

A new book by John Miedema “Slow Reading” doesn’t think so…

In the 1990s, society witnessed the mainstream integration of personal computers and the Web. For a time, it seemed likely that print, books and libraries would disappear, and perhaps literacy along with them. A generation later, we have some evidence by which to assess the reality. The analysis that follows shows that there is a close relationship between the media we use to read – books or digital technology – and the way we read and think. This is not to say that reading on screens spells the end of reading. Digital technology is often preferable for searching and scanning short snippets. However, print has endured because it is still the superior technology for reading anything of length, quality or substance. While digital technology lends itself to discovering and remixing ideas in novel ways, slow reading of books is still essential for nurturing literacy and the capacity for extended linear thought.

He also states

Print is the Next Big Thing.

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One comment

  1. Print is not dead. Print 2.0 is known as The Kindle. I (and many, many others) read lots and lots of big, fat books on it. I can adjust the font size from 6 to 20, there’s a built in dictionary, I can download books in less than a minute (usually 12 seconds), and there are many newspapers, magazines, and blogs than I can subscribe to as well. Everything stores on the device which is the size of a trade paperback and the thickness of Time magazine. I can have all my reading material with me at all times, and I can add just about anything whenever I feel like reading something new.

    For somebody who wrote a book about print being dead, John Miedema doesn’t appear to know anything about the hottest new development in reading (which, by the way, uses ink to form words on the screen). So there.



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