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Ebook

Theodore Gray’s argument for why books might be around for a while is that books are used for “gift giving.”  I agree with this statement. Actual books are far more personal (for gift giving, at least) because the person receiving the gift knows that the giver of the book went to a store and physically walked around thinking about what book to get that person. Even with Amazon, giving a person a real book has substance in comparison to an Ebook. Switching to Etextbooks would impact student’s lives by making reading and learning more convenient and relieving students of the fifty pound backpack that I had to lug around in school. Print copies can be more effective because in real books there are no batteries to die and there can’t be glitches.

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Future of the Book

The reading experience is changed when there are many more options than just straightforward reading. The extra options that go beyond flipping a page could potentially help the reader understand the text much more than they already would. Getting to understand the context and learning about specific people and places in the story could help the person know why or how what is going on in the story. With these new mediums for reading, the reader has more control over the reading experience. I’m not necessarily sure that this is a positive thing, but the reader can stop and learn more about specifics behind the story. A nonlinear reading experience suggests that reading digitally is more complex than reading a book. It could give someone a more rounded view of the story, but it could also fragment the story and distract the reader depending on the situation. This new kind of book could be helpful for certain people; maybe people who are better at learning visually. It could also kind of take some of the imagination out of reading. In my opinion, how effective this new reading technology is could completely depend on the person. Another possibility is that these nonlinear formats could shorten our intention spans because we’d be constantly moving through different facts and pictures rather than just reading straight through and using our imaginations to create the gratification. I am not opposed to this technology, I just think it could have negatives and it is dependent on the reader. The author of a nonlinear text is still the author of the story, but as I said earlier the reader has much more control of the story this way and can kind of tailor the story to themselves.

“Medium is The Message”

In my opinion the medium has to do with the message, but the medium is not completely the message. In a broad sense, the medium in itself could be the message because new technological mediums of communication change how we associate with each other as a whole. But when looked at individually, different messages could still exist in the same medium. When he talks about light I understand what he means by the light (the medium) being the message because “Whether light is being used for brain surgery or night baseball is a matter of indifference.” The light is what makes it possible to create the content. In this way, because of the medium we have the message. With our new forms of communication technology and even with speaking or writing, I can also see where he is coming from. Without the medium of speech there would be no message, so speech is the message. But as I stated before, it seems that this claim only makes sense when looking at forms of communication as a whole and in a broader sense. In my opinion, when thinking of it more specifically, there can be a message independent from the medium in the sense that it has its own purpose and meaning.

Thoughts on new literary practices

I agree with Baron’s statement in that technology has definitely changed literary practices and will inevitably change these practices more as time goes on.  I also agree with Baron when he says that this change could be “better or worse, depending on your point of view.” There are so many different viewpoints on the technological changes that we have undergone that at this point whether these changes were a positive thing is somewhat subjective. In my experience I have tried to surpass the idea that these changes must be either good or bad. I feel that there are many positive things about the new technology we use and some negative things. It seems like whether to move forward with these new practices should be completely dependent on the individual. Some people wouldn’t agree with this statement with the argument that avoiding certain aspects of new technology in a romantic idea that could only end up badly. My point isn’t that people should avoid new technology; it is that people should be able to choose for themselves which aspects of it they would like to have in their lives and which ones they don’t. For instance I have ruled out Facebook, but this doesn’t mean that I am opposed to new forms of communication as a whole. I also still write letters to people because I think that it is enjoyable, but it’s not a statement against technology. Blogs and online magazines seem like much more efficient ways of communicating ideas than actual magazines and papers.  These new forms of communication are quicker and reach a lot more people than the older ways.  So, I have chosen which new literary practices to partake in and which old practices I would like to keep in my life.

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