Friday, January 08, 2010

A Splendor of Letters: The Permanence of Books in an Impermanent World

In A Splendor of Letters, Nicholas Basbanes completes the trilogy he began with A Gentle Madness: Bibliophiles, Bibliomanes, and the Eternal Passion for Books, and continued in Patience & Fortitude: A Roving Chronicle of Book People, Book Places, and Book Culture.

This book emphasizes books and libraries - their history and their destruction. He also writes of the history and how of electronic books. It would be nice to find out what he thinks of the current e-books, as his information on them is a bit dated (2003).

I was very interested in an e-book idea he learned about from Joseph M. Jacobson, an MIT professor.

"Unlike other reading machines that have flooded the market to decidedly mixed reviews, Jacobson's e-book will have the look, heft, and feel of an authentic codex. Unlike the others, which display their text on a single solid surface, Jacobson intends that his device will have a series of paper-like 'substrates' bound inside actual covers, creating what in essence are gatherings of resilient computer screens that have the appearance of conventional pages."

Maybe I could be persuaded to try an e-book like that.

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Blogger hopeinbrazil said...

This whole series sounds fascinating. Thanks for letting us know about it.

10:25 AM  

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