Defending the Memory Theater

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Hope you had a great holiday weekend. I tried to stay away from the internet as much as possible (besides monitoring our exciting launch of course), but I did come across this long article by Nathan Schneider on the future of reading. His chief concern isn't so much the loss of individual physical books, but the bookshelf and the powers of recall it can bestow on its owner, the so-called "memory theater":

So far, for all the wonders they offer, the digital alternatives to a bookshelf fail to serve its basic purposes. The space of memory and thinking must not be an essentially controlled, homogenous one. Amazon’s Kindle and Apple’s iPad are noxious ruses that must be creatively resisted—not simply because they are electronic but because they propose to commandeer our bookshelves. I will defend the spirit of mine tooth and nail.