Electronic books

A Reading Note

Electronic books are still in their infancy. They come now in a number of different forms, nearly all of which turn out to be crude and slippery digital imitations of the printed book. None of these, in my opinion, has much future. I suspect that electronic books, when they mature, will prove just as different from manuscript and printed books as printed books are from oral books.

The forms in which books have thrived—oral poetry, the manuscript, letterpress, and the lithographic illustrated book—have a satisfying sensuous dimension. This is something electronic books still lack, and it is crucial to making literature real in the lives of creatures like ourselves, whose minds are made in part of flesh and blood.

Bringhurst, Why There Are Pages And Why They Must Turn, page 9

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