Book review for Publishing: The Revolutionary Future

Posted by: Jonathan Iannone


On my way to work I heard a brief review of this book on NPR. So I have looked up the review at their (NPR’s) website and found a link to the review by The New York Review of Books. 

For a book review it is fairly dense reading. However, it touches on trends in library service that really color the future of how library service is going to be delivered to users. The Achilles heel of online digital content is that “service” interruptions can and do deny access to library users when they occur. So there is a continuing need for hard copy books and other media to be purchased and maintained within libraries for patron use off-line. Digital readers have yet to match the ease and durability of a quality hard bound book.   In my opinion consigning Text to the same fate as Audio and Motion Picture formats is tantamount to putting all of one’s eggs into a very expensive and fragile basket. It’s a real catch-22 situation. In order to maintain access to all the information in our “information society” we have to maintain a very fragile and expensive infrastructure or else all or part of the information is lost. Which is a sobering thought for those of us tasked with maintaining and preserving the works of others.

Posted in: Communication Studies, Computer and Information Science, Information and Society, Research Online, Scholarly Communications, Sustainability


  1. M. Naiman, April 8, 2010:

    e-books will never smell like real books and real libraries.
    This is the smell of being genuine …

    Beyond the threat of electronic book burning is the loss of serendipity that will accompany the new digital book age.
    A misshelved book here and there has changed the lives of many. The loss of human interaction that a library visit
    or a weekend book-store browse will be great losses to be mourned; live face to face human social involvement is far more inspiring and romantic than anything provided “on-line.”

    The economics of our new convenient digital world seems like a plague to the aesthetics of self-enlightment at every turn. Still, I hope the one improvement will be the reduction in cost and availability of text-books at all levels. Education K-12 on thru the PhD suffers from the high cost of instructional materials. However again, notes in margins and underlined paragraphs will be a further loss in serendipity and legacy.

  2. M. Naiman, April 8, 2010:

    my comment should read “reduction in cost”

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