Friday, February 17, 2012

Does a physical book perform certain kinds of function more effectively or differently from blogs or ebooks?

From Nina Power, senior lecturer in philosophy at Roehampton University and the author of One-Dimensional Woman (Zer0 Books)

"The thing that really surprised me was the very different status a book still has in people's minds, even if the arguments and the texts have already appeared online in blogs and journals (which is where most of One-Dimensional Woman came from). The book still retains a curiously weighty status in comparison to blogs. A book is a snapshot of whatever it was you felt was interesting at that moment, and it's fixed in aspic, which can have its drawbacks.
There's an appeal to physical books, particularly short books like most of the Zer0 catalogue, at the moment: the physical form provides some relief from the relentless pressure of the online environment. It's very difficult to keep one's attention on online content - the temptation to click away is always there. In conditions where your attention is besieged in that way, short essayistic books, which you can read in one afternoon, come into their own."

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