I bumbled into a gem of a blog tonight. While moderating my own personal blog, I accidentally clicked on the “Next Blog” button. Just like Alice, I fell into a fantastic world, one just right for book lovers: www.bookfutures.com.
The site is a manifesto on the future of books. Affiliated with If:book London, the site’s director, Chris Meade, states that Bookfutures.com is “a think and do tank exploring the future of the book as our culture moves from printed page to networked screen, and the potential of new media for creative readers and writers.”
Though I shudder at the thought of our culture as moving from printed page, the website’s positive energy drew me in. A piece in particular is taken from the introduction of Bob Stein’s Taxonomy of Social Reading. Bob’s predictions the about social potential of collaborative reading are persuasive and intriguing. To him the social aspects of Kindles and Blackberries are just the beginning. He describes experiments with “networked books” as having exciting social potential.
Following this entry is a lyrical, reflective letter written to the Chris Meade from the poet David Hart. The poet’s words reminded me again of why I love books and why they will persevere. I especially liked when he reflects that his house, which has become a small library, will be a curious inheritance for his son because of the story his books will tell.
What is the future of books? If nothing else, Bookfutures.com is a well researched source from which to consider the question.