Download The Case for Books: Past, Present, and Future

The Case for Books: Past, Present, and Future

The invention of writing was one of the most important technological, cultural, and sociological breakthroughs in human history. With the printed book, information and ideas could disseminate more widely and effectively than ever before—and in some cases, affect and redirect the sway of history. Today, nearly one million books are published each year. But is the era of the
The invention of writing was one of the most important technological, cultural, and sociological breakthroughs in human history. With the printed book, information and ideas could disseminate more widely and effectively than ever before—and in some cases, affect and redirect the sway of history. Today, nearly one million books are published each year. But is the era of the book as we know it—a codex of bound pages—coming to an end? And if it is, should we celebrate its demise and the creation of a democratic digital future, or mourn an irreplaceable loss?

The digital age is revolutionizing the information landscape. Already, more books have been scanned and digitized than were housed in the great library in Alexandria, making available millions of texts for a curious reader at the click of a button, and electronic book sales are growing exponentially. Will this revolution in the delivery of information and entertainment make for more transparent and far-reaching dissemination or create a monopolistic stranglehold?

In The Case for Books, Robert Darnton, an intellectual pioneer in the field of the history of the book and director of Harvard University’s Library, offers an in-depth examination of the book from its earliest beginnings to its shifting role today in popular culture, commerce, and the academy.

As an author, editorial advisor, and publishing entrepreneur, Darnton is a unique authority on the life and role of the book in society. This book is a wise work of scholarship—one that requires readers to carefully consider how the digital revolution will broadly affect the marketplace of ideas.


Author: Robert Darnton
Pages: 218 pages
Format: PDF
Size: 20.37 Mb



More ebooks

  • The Book on the BookshelfDownload The Book on the Bookshelf "A fascinating history of two related common objects, impeccably documented and beautifully illustrated."--CivilizationHenry Petroski, "the poet laureate of technology" and author of the highly acclaimed The Pencil and The Evolution of Useful Things now sets his sights on perhaps the greatest technological advances of the last two thousand years: the making and storing of "A fascinating history of two related common objects, […]
  • The History of the Adventures of Joseph Andrews, and of His Friend Mr. Abraham Adams. … in Two Volumes. … Volume 2 of 2Download The History of the Adventures of Joseph Andrews, and of His Friend Mr. Abraham Adams. … in Two Volumes. … Volume 2 of 2 The 18th century was a wealth of knowledge, exploration and rapidly growing technology and expanding record-keeping made possible by advances in the printing press. In its determination to preserve the century of revolution, Gale initiated a revolution of its own: digitization of epic proportions to preserve these invaluable works in the largest archive of its kind. Now fo The 18th century was a wealth of knowledge, exploration […]
  • The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle. in Which Are Included, Memoirs of a Lady of Quality. in Four Volumes. … Volume 4 of 4Download The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle. in Which Are Included, Memoirs of a Lady of Quality. in Four Volumes. … Volume 4 of 4 The 18th century was a wealth of knowledge, exploration and rapidly growing technology and expanding record-keeping made possible by advances in the printing press. In its determination to preserve the century of revolution, Gale initiated a revolution of its own: digitization of epic proportions to preserve these invaluable works in the largest archive of its kind. Now fo The 18th century was a wealth of knowledge, exploration […]
  • Poems and FragmentsDownload Poems and Fragments Little remains today of the writings of the archaic Greek poet Sappho (fl. late 7th and early 6th centuries B.C.E.), whose work is said to have filled nine papyrus rolls in the great library at Alexandria some 500 years after her death. The surviving texts consist of a lamentably small and fragmented body of lyric poetry--among them, poems of invocation, desire, spite, cel Little remains today of the writings of the archaic Greek […]
  • Christianity and the Transformation of the Book: Origen, Eusebius, and the Library of CaesareaDownload Christianity and the Transformation of the Book: Origen, Eusebius, and the Library of Caesarea When early Christians began to study the Bible, and to write their own history and that of the Jews whom they claimed to supersede, they used scholarly methods invented by the librarians and literary critics of Hellenistic Alexandria. But Origen and Eusebius, two scholars of late Roman Caesarea, did far more. Both produced new kinds of books, in which parallel columns mad When early Christians began to study the Bible, and to […]
  • How We Think: Digital Media and Contemporary TechnogenesisDownload How We Think: Digital Media and Contemporary Technogenesis “How do we think?” N. Katherine Hayles poses this question at the beginning of this bracing exploration of the idea that we think through, with, and alongside media. As the age of print passes and new technologies appear every day, this proposition has become far more complicated, particularly for the traditionally print-based disciplines in the humanities and qualitative “How do we think?” N. Katherine Hayles poses this question […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *