Late Age of Print

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Brett Berman

Media Studies 100

Prof. Monroy

The Late Age of Print

Since the release of the first eBook in March of 2000, the status of the printed book in the digital age has come into question. Though it is hard to say what the definitive fate of printed books in the digital age will be, it is safe to say that we will not see the extinction of physical books in our lifetime. There are many qualities to the printed book that simply cannot be recreated digitally, and while the status of the printed books has changed that does not mean it is on its way out. The eBook is undoubtedly more convenient and the ability to carry a library in your pocket is astonishing, but that availability is not significant enough to convince long time bibliophiles to compromise their reading experience as they have come to know and love.

Printed books have an experience, an impression, which a digital file simply cannot reproduce.

Words printed on a page are a thing; they occupy a space in the book, they are verifiably there. The configuration of the eBook simply temporarily occupies a space on a screen, and once digitized back into storage it can no longer be said to exist in the same way. (Striphas 24) Words printed in a book have an inherent immortal nature. Regardless of the screen size, number of pixels, or memory capacity, there is no e-reader that could ever evoke such a feeling of permanency. Our current society is one that quite literally has a need for both immediate satisfaction and convenience. At some point, there seems to have been some sort of disconnect between an audience who genuinely appreciates art in all its forms, and those who have traded in their passion for...