The Ecosystem Known As Reading

Andrew Piper, writing in Book Was There: Reading in Electronic Times:

Books will always be there. That is what they are by definition: there. Whether in the classroom, the library, the archive, the bookstore, the warehouse, or online, it is our choice, however, where books will be. It is time to stop worrying and start thinking. It is time to put an end to the digital utopias and print eulogies, bookish venerations and network gothic, and tired binaries like deep versus shallow, distributed versus linear, or slow versus fast. Now is the time to understand the rich history of what we have thought books have done for us and what we think digital texts might do differently. We need to remember the diversity that surrounds reading and the manifold, and sometimes strange, tools upon which it has historically been based. The question is not one of “versus,” of two antagonists squaring off in a ring; rather, the question is far more ecological in nature. How will these two very different species and their many varieties coexist within the greater ecosystem known as reading?