Essay on Electronic Writing Will Not Make Books Obsolete

1679 Words7 Pages
Electronic Writing Will Not Make Books Obsolete Twenty years ago, the thought of instantly publishing your thoughts for the world to see with the simple push of a button, would have been a dream. Today, websites and on-line forums have made this dream possible. Through the years, technology has made advancements in many fields. Today, nowhere is that more apparent than in the field of writing. Electronic writing’s detractors fear that the increase of electronic writing will spell disaster for modern language. History does not support this claim however. Some additional complaints about electronic text are that it is not aesthetically pleasing and it is awkward to read. This is a copout for people unwilling to…show more content…
He believes modern language and writing owe everything to the printed word (which is not entirely untrue), and he is terrified that electronic writing will ruin modern language. What Birkets is forgetting, is that at one time, the book was just as new and scary a technology as electronic text is now. George Landow explains in Twenty Minutes into the Future, or How Are We Moving Beyond the Book?, “We have to remind ourselves that if, how, and whenever we move beyond the book, that movement will not embody a movement from something natural or human to something artificial—from nature to technology—since writing and printing and books are about as technological as one can be (219).” We have grown so accustom to books that we take them for granted. People like Birkets forget that books are a form of technology too. As Landow describes them, books are “teaching and communicating machines (219).” The advent of books and printing technology has not destroyed language, and I doubt if the invention of electronic text will spell the demise of language either. Relaxing in a hot bath, curled up by a roaring fire, catching some rays on the beach, these are the places people read for enjoyment. Electronic text will never replace the old fashioned book in these arenas, they are simply not conducive to electronic reading. Landow’s story about Edward Tufte is another example of where electronic text will never replace books. Tufte “lovingly”
Open Document