“The Whole Book Thing. . .”

You probably read the January 5, 2007 Chronicle article in which college students were interviewed about their learning preferences and reading habits. A statement made by Sarah Mihelic., a communications major, stuck with me: “My dad is still into the whole book thing. He has not realized that the Internet kind of took the place of that.”

It’s not the message. It’s the delivery. By packaging it as “the whole book thing,” she has wrapped up the concept and placed it on display next to the brontosaurus over there in the corner. Both are curious kinds of things not really relevant — not even alive — to her.

Combine her sentiment with the Time Magazine announced Jan. 19 that it is cutting nearly 300 employees,including the most profitable publication, People, as it moves to invest more in its Web sites.”

My conclusion? http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/19/business/media/19time.html?_r=2&ref=technology&o
The written word is alive and well. It’s just in a different location.

This is underscored in a mind-bending 32 page 2007 Horizon Report brought to our attention by collegewebeditor.com/blog

As editor Karine Joly says, this is a must read if you’re going to keep pace with the quickly changing ways of communicating. Reading this report was like stepping into Second Life and experiencing a lecture by Phillip K. Dick. (Notice I didn’t say “listen to a lecture.” PKD’s ideas are transmitted instantly as thought images complete with sound and emotional gradations shared by all in the virtual classroom).

The report is a great primer for those just wading into the 2.0 world and those who are in up to their knees.

Okay, the Baby Boomers are the last generation to value reading words on paper as a way of gaining knowledge.

But I will admit, the evolving forms of education and knowledge sharing are really exciting, fast, and more democratic.

(Psst. Dad! I’m still into the whole book thing, too.)





3 responses to ““The Whole Book Thing. . .”

  1. Books can’t really be on the way out, because not everyone’s eyes can stand to read everything on a screen! Heck, I’m only nineteen, and mine can’t. Environment-conscious as I try to be, I still print out everything longer than 2 pages that I want to read.

    But maybe I’m just grasping.

  2. Thanks, elletrice. Your comment is very heartening!

  3. [quote]The written word is alive and well. It’s just in a different location.[/quote]

    Yes and no. I have yet to meet a teenager that has read a novel online. Many of the books commonly read in college are available full-text online yet very few of the students I have known for the past eight years have chosen a digital copy over forking-over money for the paper one. When I read the quote “the book thing,” I see more than just a medium. That girl is referring to writing that cannot be consumed in fifteen minutes or less. If that’s where future generations are headed (and I don’t believe it is), then it is the death of allot more than print-on-paper.

    When in high school, I had an open class period where I would read the newspaper in the library. Once I was approached by a fellow student who derided me, saying “You like to read, don’t you!” as an insult. “My dad is still into the whole book thing” rings the same in my ear.

    (Nice blog by the way!)

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