Text Patterns - by Alan Jacobs

Thursday, June 4, 2009

thoughts from Finland on books and more

Teemu Manninen ruminates:

Enter the papernet: the internet as a platform for producing, on demand, paper products (maps, organisers, notebooks, social travel guides and the like). Imagine, for instance, that your printer had its own email-address, and instead of your newspaper delivered to your door each morning, your printer would print it out for you. Depending on what kinds of feeds you are currently following, your morning paper could be a mix of the best of New York Times, Helsingin Sanomat and Le Monde, for instance. (And I’m not talking about the kind of printers we have now, but much better ones; ones that could print out not only newspapers, but paperback books or broadsheets or even glossy magazines.) Imagine, also, that books were no longer tied to the cost-heavy machinery of traditional publishing houses, which can only produce one book in one edition at one moment of time. If the audiovisual industry is already changing because of electronic distribution, imagine when the same thing happens to books.

See also Farhad Manjoo on Mine magazine. I don't know about all this. I have had to deal with too much paper in my life, and have been trying for the past few years to limit it to books. I love my books, but newspapers, magazines, and my students’ papers I prefer in digital form.

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