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The case for books : past, present, and future
Darnton, Robert.
Adult Nonfiction Z116.A2 D37 2009

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Is the age of the printed book coming to an end? If history is any guide, notes Harvard University Library director Darnton, not any time soon. In this collection of previously published essays, an "unashamed apology for the printed word," Darnton, an eloquent writer and one of the world's foremost historians of the book, offers a fascinating history of our literary past and a penetrating look at the disruptive forces shaping the future of publishing. Almost no topic is untouched, from the role of libraries to metadata, the print traditions of Europe, piracy old and new, Darnton's own forays into digital initiatives and the efficacy-even the beauty-of our changing literary landscape over centuries of development. This book clearly has a main character, however-Google. The search giant appears often. While the individual essays are brief, in sum, the book offers a deep dive into the evolution of the written and published word. Darnton offers little cover from the winds of change, but for book lovers and publishing professionals he offers the comfort that comes from understanding the past, and hope, as he places the Internet among a litany of disruptive innovations the book has survived. (Oct. 27) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Darnton (director, Harvard Univ. Lib.) gathers more than a decade's worth of his published work to address the essential issues surrounding the future of the book, from the genesis of ebooks and the opportunities of electronic text to early practices of book production and circulation and the nuances of reading. Darnton comes across most forcefully when he does more than just reintroduce the debate over the dangers and promises of a global digital library and instead shares instructive insights into the nature of information itself and the relationship of text to the reader. Core is his treatment of the Google Library Project and the settlement's importance. Darnton's personal opinion: digitize and democratize. Verdict These essays bring balance and a refreshing perspective to the nervous predictions over the future of print. Highly recommended for anyone with an investment in new media, libraries, literacy, and publishing.-Katharine A. Webb, Ohio State Univ. Libs., Columbus (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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