The End of Books — Or Books Without End?

The End of Books — Or Books Without End?: Reading Interactive Narratives, by Douglas, J.

Already given the title of this reading, I was not only intrigued to see how they would tackle this argument, but also, interested to see if anyone else agreed with my passion to save the physical book! The article places the discussion in the context of hypertext, and how these kinds of technologies will affect traditional reading experiences, and I know there has been many discussions on this topic recently.

My younger sister has hardly any textbooks at high school, yet is expected to take her I-pad in every day for school work purposes. This is the way our education system is “improving”, relying on the new technologies in our world. And although I am opposed to it, it is rightly so. 10 years from now, are textbooks going to be used by school students? Will ipads be given out during VCE exams instead of a paper and pen? In my opinion, it is all a bit sad- I for one hate reading readings that are exerts from a textbook on line, and this is because my generation were conditioned to grow up readings books from an early age.

From the reading, I thought these 2 ideas were the most appropriate and helpful for my learning, and rephrasing them would lose their essence so here they are:

“The term hypertext describes a tool that lets us use the printed word as the basis for a technology that considerably extends writing’s reach and repertoire—mostly by removing text from the single dimension it has on the printed page.12 Within the con‹nes of hypertext, narratives consist of discrete seg- ments of text, some of which may be read or experienced in what may seem like sequential order even when they appear in radically differ- ent settings.”


” reading can be seen as a continuous process of forming hypotheses, reinforc- ing them, developing them, modifying them, and sometimes replacing them by others or dropping them altogether…”- so in other words, we do not always know where the reading will take us however, as a reader, we are always willing to go along with, what can only be described as, a journey.

Another question that was included in the reading was- “What if you had a book that changed every time you read it? —Michael Joyce (1991)”
In many ways it does. As you mature and your understanding of different  ideas and theories grows, so does the way you approach and tackle what you read. I know that books I read when I was younger have a significantly different impact on my life now, then they did back when I was naively unaware of the meanings.


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