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Thursday, September 1, 2011

Books Are Dead, Long Live Books

Posted by Jacob Schraer on Thu, Sep 1, 2011 at 9:44 AM


At The Wall Street Journal, Joseph Epstein uses his review of The Cambridge History of the American Novel to trash English departments across the country and liberal higher education in general. What's more, I mostly agree with him, though I would probably word my argument more like this: "The baby boomers and their imaginary PC garbage created a whole generation of useless scholarship." But this isn't about me, it's about you, Blogtown readers. Were you an English major? Were your classes worthwhile? Do you proudly display your framed degree in your personal library or does it sit in a box in your closet in the same envelope in which it was mailed to you?

Seriously, Epstein sounds like a dick, but there's no question that the study of literature is in big trouble, and the book industry in general is freaked about it's future viability. That's why you should temper your enjoyment of that review with this refreshing look at how interactive iPad stories are changing the way people (so far, mainly children) interact with "books". Hidden mini-games, choose your own adventure narratives, stories that teach and learn with examples—these are the literary devices of the future. And the author is kind enough to acknowledge that books as we know them will always exist cause they're still a unique medium that is in no way obsolete.


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