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Jeff Gomez

Print is Dead

As more and more material is available on the internet, one wonder's whether previous methods of distribution still have a future. In Print is Dead:Books in Our Digital Age Jeff Gomez argues that printed books are on the way out.

There is plenty of emotional attachment to the idea of a printed book, but Gomez argues that often this is rather illogical: 'you can't read an ebook in the bathtub'. The book goes on to look at the decline of reading of serious literature, and at the closure of printed newspapers. Gomez then discusses the interactivity that people expect nowadays - the ability to download material, but also the chance to upload their own creations and the expectation of instant availability. There is a look at the ebooks of the late 1990's which didn't really work out and an argument of why it will be different this time round. The last chapters of the book look at the position of readers, writers and publishers in an all digital future.

In the end, though, I felt that Gomez's arguments weren't sufficiently deep to be persuasive. He doesn't seem to take into account that the internet is in a state of rapid flux, and so gives too much prominence to things which may turn out to be a passing fad. I also didn't believe his claims of multimedia with everything, and I didn't think he gave enough detail about dedicated ebook devices - which generally try to be as much like printed books as possible. If you want to while away a couple of hours (and can't find anything suitable on the internet) then you might try reading this book, but don't expect any persuasive arguments.