Hard Ephemera: Textual Tactility and the Design of the Post-Digital Narrative in Chris Ware’s “Colorful Keepsake Box” and Other Non-Objects

  • Colbey Emmerson Reid


As digital readers gained popularity at the beginning of the 21st century, newspaper headlines voiced a growing anxiety among many consumers: “Will E-Books Eliminate Physical Books?” The author argues that genres are migrating into digital media forms and thus now demand attention to the material conditions that engender them. She begins by questioning the lay theory that modern readers have ever cared much about the physiology of reading, and contends that consumers are just beginning to miss what they will no longer know when their hands can’t be a vehicle to it. Chris Ware’s innovative transformation in Building Stories (2012) of a book into a “colorful keepsake box” provides a case for theorizing an embodied literacy predicated upon the haptics of reading.


Reading Comprehension Apartment Building Facial Paralysis Building Story Physical Book 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Colbey Emmerson Reid
    • 1
  1. 1.Poole College of ManagementNorth Carolina State UniversityRaleigh, NCUSA

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