Print is dying, so you should read it more

Print is rapidly going the way of Latin, but look how that turned out.  In the Middle Ages, it was the language of European science.  And long after people had stopped writing in it, it kept its importance as a mark of education.  Those who read Latin were glad that not many others did – you can’t have an elite if everyone’s in it.

So it will be with print.  As fewer people read print, those who do will find the sills it develops becoming rarer and more valuable.

For example, print is expensive, so things that make it into print have generally been pretty well edited and proof-read.  While the web encourages skimming and making connections, print encourages slow, methodical, close reading, making notes, and going back over difficult parts.

This is not to say that print is better, but everyone is going to be conversant with the web – no special effort will be required, just as immigrants’ children will pick up English no matter what their parents do.

Of course, this post is somewhat self-defeating, so I should stop here, before you decide to something silly like ditch this blog for Dickens or Livy.  Just remember that in the country of the iPhone, the one-book man is king.


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5 Responses to “Print is dying, so you should read it more”

  1. Tweets that mention Print is dying, so you should read it more « Erehweb’s Blog -- Says:

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Dave Winer, Michael Calore, António Matos Silva, Alma , Adam and others. Adam said: RT @davewiner: Print is dying, so you should read it more. […]

  2. Rick Heli Says:

    I’d read this, but the printer is down so it will have to wait.


    But hey, we should all buy books: they’re one of the few things still made in the USA. So it’s not just a good idea; it’s your patriotic duty.

  3. Nina Says:

    Once upon a time, print (and even writing) was just some new-fangled foolishness:

    • erehweb Says:

      Thanks for the link, Nina. Actually, if you go far enough back, speech was one of those wacky ideas too – what can you get by it that you couldn’t by grunting and pointing?

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