Perhaps it's unwise to slay the gods in the 7th post on a young blog, but there was something about Will Richardson's post the other day about "The End of Books" that struck me as precisely the kind of position that this whole project is intended to shift. He wrote about the ability to sort and share e-book annotations, and concluded with these comments: And I also keep thinking about what changes now? How does my note taking in books change? (Do I start using tags and keywords along with adding my reflections?) Now that I can post my notes and highlights publicly, what copyright ramifications are there? How might others find that useful? And the biggest question, do I buy any more paper books?
Again with the do I buy any more paper books question. Someone, in the comments, suggested that the medium disappears when the content is compelling enough. Well .. maybe not. As the book I created for this project attempts to illustrate, the medium does matter. The kind of books that will likely survive are beautiful and long-lasting, and incorporate design into their narrative. These are not disposable books; these will be books that take advantage of their physical-ness.
I tend to appropriate Craig Mod's take on "Books in the Age of the iPad" when answering the what of print!? question. (I wrote something about this in 2008 as well.) It's like the story about teachers and technology: if a physical book can be replaced by a digital one, perhaps it should be.