The writing on the wall

Over at Normblog, Norm tells us that he wants his books and not merely the words they contain.   We’ve discussed this human passion before:  books, unlike e-readers, are postcards from our past-self to our future-self, tangible souvenirs of the emotions we had when we first read them.   For that very reason – that they transport us through time – books aren’t going anywhere.  It’s a very rare technology indeed that completely eliminates all its predecessors, since every technology has something unique it provides to some users or other.   We could ask, for example, why we still carve words onto stone and why we still engrave names onto rings and pewter mugs for special occasions, when the invention of printing should have done away with those earlier text-delivery platforms, more expensive and less portable than books and paper?

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