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April 09, 2010


Paul Eden

Well, it just so happens that vinyl records in good condition, and most non-fiction books (even in fair condition) are still really cool despite what anyone may say. Indeed, it is the soft, meditative privacy of the written word, sans the danger of anyone monitoring what you are looking at, or thinking of, still rocks my world.
And, many of the earliest rock and jazz albums have great sleeves and liner notes... and are either unreleased on CD or, if they are, may be very difficult and costly to find.

Paul Perry

The introduction of records - like any new technology - had unintended consequences. What records did, was reduce sharply the number of amateur musicians, and make performances much more uniform.
I do not know what 'unintended' consequences e-readers will have. I know that among my acquaintances, the e-reader adopters are buying fewer books overall (any format) - where they used to impulse buy real books, they delay e-book purchase until they actually want to read something, and consequently often don't buy at all.
As a secondhand bookseller dealing in $5 to $15 novels, literature & serious non-fiction I can say that the apparently inexolerable decline in this part of the market started well before e-books - and even before the internet.
I blame television.


You might go back a little before 1500 by reading 'De Laude Scriptorum' ['In Praise of Scribes'] by Johannes Trithemius, Abbot of Sponheim. This was written in 1492... and printed in 1494.

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