Thursday, January 03, 2008

Paperback Perfection

... paperbacks are perfect as they are. Not for nothing has the technology remained more or less unchanged for 550 or so years. As someone pointed out recently, if Johannes Gutenberg were alive today, he would easily recognise his invention. This is because books are like sharks and platypuses - they remained unchanged because they have reached evolutionary perfection.

And they're also pretty good for swatting flies and biffing your kids round the head according to the Sydney Morning Herald. E-books, it seems, are *yawn* so last year.

Postscript:

Clearing through some of the nice things I'd marked for blogging but not got round to, I found this quote by novelist John Lancaster:
Personally, I think that books are going to be OK, for one main reason: books are not only, or not primarily, the information they contain. A book is also an object, and a piece of technology; in fact, a book is an extraordinarily effective piece of technology, portable, durable, expensive to pirate but easy to use, not prone to losing all its data in crashes, and capable of taking an amazing variety of beautiful forms.

5 comments:

kennymah said...

And they are perfectly sized to stuff into a backpack or briefcase for reading during those long LRT/train/Metro commutes...

Not to mention long-distance flights and boring sea journeys...

Paperbacks rule!

(Doesn't mean I'll stop publishing e-books though. They are such perfect little dollops of vanity, no? Hehe.)

Anonymous said...

and does not require electric to run

uncle

Anonymous said...

But it's expensive. And getting more and more expensive by the year. Paper books will eventually end up like film cameras, everyone knows film cameras take better pictures, but the cost and availability... :P

Erin said...

Shows you shouldn't mess with something that doesn't need fixing. I was always weary of the ebook craze and sat in the backseat, worrying the trend would take hold. Thanks God it hasn't, for nothing can replace holding an actual book in your hands.

Anonymous said...

Nothing can replace a film camera either, didn't stop it from dying out. The really old books are streets ahead of the paperback in terms of quality of material, workmanship and even content. But they're not made that way any more. And they cost thousands now.