The Telegraph – Jonathan Franzen: e-books are damaging society

The Telegraph: Jonathan Franzen: e-books are damaging society

Franzen may be a good writer, it doesn’t mean that everything he says should be cast in bronze… I think that the 3′ serial interviews granted to TV journalists by actors to publicize their latest films are, mostly, pathetic. Just because somebody is good looking or a talented actress/actor, doesn’t automatically mean that they have anything interesting to say. As to the ebooks v. paper books, it’s the usual debate which, I am sure, has been going on since Gutenberg’s time: I am sure that the monks painstakingly copying manuscripts by hand and enriching them with beautiful paintings, scoffed at the introduction of the printing press as rubbish and the end of the world. They were right – nobody copies books by hand, these days, but then billions of people can read them, as opposed to a handful of clerics and ultra-rich. Like radio didn’t quite kill newspapers, TV didn’t quite kill the radio and the Internet didn’t kill every other medium (so far, anyway), so ebooks will be just another way of accessing content. What’s interesting, is how the content itself will evolve, to take advantage of the new formats.

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