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The Case for Books

Past, Present, And Future

By Robert Darnton

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.




1 available at Main (Downtown)
  • 002.09 Dar, Nonfiction



Format: Book
Author: Darnton, Robert
Title: The case for books : past, present, and future / Robert Darnton.
Publisher Date: New York : PublicAffairs, c2009.
Subject: Google Library Project Books -- Social aspects. Books -- History Books and reading Communication in learning and scholarship -- Technological innovations. Research libraries -- Forecasting. Scholarly electronic publishing Library materials -- Digitization
Isbn: 9781586488260 (alk. paper) 1586488260 (alk. paper)
Current Holds: 0
System Items Available: 1
System Items Total: 1
Call Number: 002.09 Dar
Oclc: 401147025
Bib Id: 327769

Format: Book
Author: Darnton, Robert
Title: The case for books : past, present, and future / Robert Darnton.
Publisher, Date: New York : PublicAffairs, c2009.
Description: xvi, 218 p. : ill ; 22 cm.
Subjects: Google Library Project
Subjects: Books -- Social aspects.
Subjects: Books -- History
Subjects: Books and reading
Subjects: Communication in learning and scholarship -- Technological innovations.
Subjects: Research libraries -- Forecasting.
Subjects: Scholarly electronic publishing
Subjects: Library materials -- Digitization
Notes: Includes bibliographical references (p. 207-208) and index.
Contents: Future. Google and the future of books ; The information landscape ; The future of libraries ; Lost and found in cyberspace -- Present. E-books and old books ; Gutenberg-e ; Open access -- Past. A paean to paper ; The importance of being bibliographical ; The mysteries of reading ; What is the history of books?
LCCN: 2009034693
ISBN: 9781586488260 (alk. paper)
ISBN: 1586488260 (alk. paper)
Requests: 0
Available Copies: 1
Total Copies: 1
Call Number: 002.09 Dar