It is only rarely in the home that the exercise of reading, in the old sense, now takes place. — George Steiner
Funny, but the 1972 essay “After the Book?” appears to be quite unavailable within the withering confines of free Web 1.0. The above is transcribed from a dead tree I borrowed from my local library the other day. Meanwhile, back in a dystopian future that seems to have evolved into the present while I wasn’t paying attention …
Wall Street Journal (5/20 ’11): “Liberty Media Sees More Than Just Bookstores In Barnes & Noble”
The deal, which values Barnes & Noble at $1.02 billion, also would be consistent with the modus operandi of Liberty’s chairman and controlling shareholder, John Malone, who has made a fortune, in part, by investing in companies left for dead by many investors, only to prove they have life left. In this case, Barnes & Noble’s key lifeline would be its electronic reader, the Nook, and the growing electronic-book market.
And the touch sensitive readers reduce operator interaction to not much more than, “I’ll take this one.” It won’t be long before smirking mortgage-moron interposes himself again and again between me and much of what I’d like to read.
It’s one thing to corrupt the YouTube experience or a blog post with ads, but interrupting the reader’s concentration when she’s trying to wrestle with literature is something much more sinister.
UPDATE (5/24 ’11): Dad knew An Wang fairly well. Nice to know there’s still folks in denial about the generality of the Von Neumann machine after all these years …
MarketWatch (5/24 ’11): “Apple’s iPad isn’t killing electronic readers”
SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — The debut of a lower-priced Nook from Barnes & Noble Inc. shows that there is a demand among consumers for a dedicated device intended solely for reading books.