Andrew Piper's Book Was There: Reading in Electronic Times PDF

By Andrew Piper

ISBN-10: 0226669785

ISBN-13: 9780226669786

Andrew Piper grew up liking books and loving desktops. whereas sometimes burying his nostril in books, he used to be going to computing device camp, programming his Radio Shack TRS-80, and enjoying Pong. His eventual love of analyzing made him a historian of the publication and a gourmand of print, yet as a card-carrying member of the 1st electronic generation—and the daddy of 2 electronic natives—he is aware that we are living in digital instances. Book used to be There is Piper’s staggering and continually exciting essay on interpreting in an e-reader world. Much ink has been spilled lamenting or championing the decline of published books, yet Piper exhibits that the wealthy historical past of studying itself deals unforeseen clues to what lies in shop for books, print or electronic. From medieval manuscript books to today’s playable media and interactive city fictions, Piper explores the manifold ways in which actual media have formed how we learn, whereas additionally staring at his personal young ones as they face the struggles and triumphs of studying to learn. In doing so, he uncovers the intimate connections we strengthen with our analyzing materials—how we carry them, examine them, percentage them, play with them, or even the place we learn them—and exhibits how interpreting is interwoven with our stories in lifestyles. Piper unearths that reading’s many identities, earlier and current, on web page and on display, are the major to supporting us comprehend the type of studying we care approximately and the way new applied sciences will—and will not—change previous habits. Contending that our adventure of studying belies naive generalizations concerning the way forward for books, Book used to be There is an elegantly argued and carefully updated tribute to the patience of books in our ever-evolving electronic international.

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43 CHAP TER TWO As the eighteenth-century Swiss pastor Johann Lavater understood, reading faces is an essential human task. 32 The face is where we recognize each other in a social sense. Learning how to read faces—how to master the double act of looking and reading, whether online or off—is where we learn to care about something and someone without a sense of possession. If holding is a precondition of dreaming, facing is a precondition of caring. It is through faces where we meet others at a distance.

Cholet Master, Grandes chroniques de France (1275/1310), BSG MS 782 fol. 327. Photo IRHT © Bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève, Paris. neuroscience suggests, we see letters in much the same way as we perceive everyday objects through a process of combining more elementary shapes. 7 Or you could say we see objects in the same way as we read letters. There is a deep-rooted connec30 FAC E , B O O K tion between legibility and visuality. The face is where reading and seeing merge. We see letters, and we read faces.

Or better yet: today, all is recto. Much of the current debate about the future of reading turns on the crowdedness of the digital page versus its bookish prede- CHAPTER THREE cessor. There is just too much stuff on the screen now. The webcam portrait is the new face of text. We are breeding generations of distracted readers, people who simply cannot pay attention long enough to finish a book. This is undoubtedly true, but only to a point. We have of course been here before. 1 We have always worried about how to instill careful reading, no matter what the object.

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Book Was There: Reading in Electronic Times by Andrew Piper

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