Iconic books are texts revered as objects of power rather than just as words of instruction, information, or insight. In religious and secular rituals around the globe, people carry, show, wave, touch and kiss books and other texts, as well as read them. This blog chronicles such events and activities. (For more about iconic books, see the links to the Iconic Books Project at left.)

Monday, April 9, 2012

Franzen's fear of e-books

Jonathan Franzen made headlines in January by announcing the he fears the effects of e-books. The acclaimed author of the novels, Freedom and The Corrections, both available as e-books, lamented digital texts' lack of permanence:

I think, for serious readers, a sense of permanence has always been part of the experience. Everything else in your life is fluid, but here is this text that doesn’t change.
“Will there still be readers 50 years from now who feel that way? Who have that hunger for something permanent and unalterable? I don’t have a crystal ball.
“But I do fear that it’s going to be very hard to make the world work if there’s no permanence like that. That kind of radical contingency is not compatible with a system of justice or responsible self-government.”

This blog has frequently documented the desire for the preservation  of cultures and values in the form of material books.

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