Reading (and Writing) Online, Rather than on the Decline
Changing perceptions of and assumptions about the book in contemporary culture, and particularly those perceptions as situated within an increasingly complex media and communication landscape, have been at the heart of my research for nearly 15 years. One would think that the situation might have stabilized over that time — after all, if the book were genuinely on its way out, having been shunted aside by movies, or television, or video games or the internet, one would expect that trajectory over the course of that length of time to be clear. One would expect the tale to be unambiguously one of decline. Yet while, in the last decade and a half, ongoing technological developments have produced an ever-increasing number of new challengers to the book’s role as the primary vector through which literate culture communicates, the forms that the book takes and the ways that readers encounter the book have proliferated. While the relationship to the book as an object is certainly changing in the West, those changes may indicate a more thorough imbrication of books and reading with popular culture, rather than their marginalization.1
KeywordsPopular Culture Scholarly Communication Open Platform Literary Culture Literary Reading
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