Reading response – Stephens

In the first part of the essay, Stephens talks about those who say that books are not going to go out of style. These people who champion older forms of media, he says, love to point to the long standing success of radio, as an argument that books will survive changes in technology. But, Stephen notes, they don’t point to the success of “clay tablets, papyrus scrolls, handwritten books, printed ballads, town criers, the camera obscure, vaudeville, telegrams, typewriters, phonographic writers, or the magic lantern.”

Does a book have to be in paper form to be a book? I read on kindle. I normally say I “read books” on kindle. It’s new technology. It’s a screen that fits in my pocket and can carry many many books on it. Sure, the physical form these stories appear in has changed. But the act of reading a long form story, or nonfiction piece, that is hundreds of pages long, doesn’t seem to have changed, or any reason to. So, my question is, these folks who “argue that books. . . will long endure”, are they speaking of paper/hardcover BOOKS? Or or they talking about long, written stories? I don’t plan on buying any paper books, but I can’t imagine a future without long written stories because there doesn’t seem to be any way to improve it. Film may require more advanced technology, but that doesn’t make it better. Both have their pros and cons.

Relating the essay to my own experience, I find it much easier to pay attention to a film if there are lots of switches in camera angles. It’s hypnotic, really.