Thursday, February 19, 2009

You know, those rectangular things with pages?

Last week, at something called the O'Reilly's Tools of Change conference -- attended by many publishing bigwigs -- a Deep Thinker named Bob Stein suggested we need to redefine the word "book." Stein entitled his talk, "A book is a place," but he wasn't thinking of the old romantic notion of books sending readers to places in their imaginations. No, Stein's new definition of book was, "a place where readers (and sometimes authors) congregate." He was thinking of course of the digital world and the internet, where, he predicted, future "books" would be published, read, commented on, and maybe rewritten. To extend the redefinition game, nonfiction authors in Stein's Brave New Bookworld become "leaders of communities of inquiry," and fiction writers will be "creating a world together with their readers." Publishers will become curators of "communities for their authors around their readers." Stein further predicted that his grandchildren will likely see reading entirely as a social experience and "won't even understand [the] concept" of reading alone.

OK. Whatever. From what I understand I may already be behind the times with this blogging business. Seems like the Thing To Do Now is to migrate over to Facebook, which is not a book with pictures of faces, but rather an internet community where the word "friend" is a transitive verb. Of course as soon as I join it will probably become obsolete. Guess I'd better book it on over there and check it out.

Co-owner, Accent on Things With Pages

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