Whatever your theory or opinion is of the future of books and digital content, the fact unarguably is that books have played, and will continue to play, a role in people's lives. As Bryce Milligan points out
, there are many things, aesthetic and utilitarian, that can be done with a book that give people an experience (home insulation, anyone?).
It's not at all nostalgic or romantic to think about the effect a book, or books, have had on your life. It's a very factual recognition, and this is proven to me as I look around our office and see piles, stacks, and shelves of them everywhere. I have a room in my house just for books and reading. This physical kind of focus is something I've always appreciated, and am thinking a lot about it today.
In the link above, Bryce talks about the artifact
- creating smaller physical things, like chapbooks, that can satisfy a range of things digital cannot. And, these things can also work alongside digital in ways that books themselves currently cannot. This is the most interesting scenario - where nothing is taken away or replaced, but enhanced. It's sort of like hiring someone for a new position, rather than firing someone and replacing them.
The possibilities that come from any collaboration are exciting and hopeful, and for us at 8cr, it's great to stand in the middle of a pile of books, while I write about them on a computer screen, and later talk about them among groups of people while we all take notes. Here's to books, and the ideas they release into the world.