As the Kindle and its fellow electronic readers continue to boom in popularity, the debate over reading in digital versus traditional, ink- pressed-on-paper methods rages on, with dedicated devotees fighting in both corners. The Reader Organisation extols the values of both forms – if an e-reader is the most convenient way to make regular reading a part of the hectic lives of many, then fantastic. But it also makes us a little worried about the plight of printed books, now and in the future: what will the rise of the e-reader mean for binders, printers, letterpress artists, bookstores (we’re giving a good home to many discarded printed books through our Amazon Bookshop) and general bibliophiles?
EPILOGUE is a beautiful and thought-provoking documentary by student Hanah Ryu Chung which examines the world of books in their printed form as it stands and looks to its future, with insight from the people who know it best – individuals working within Toronto’s print community – raising the scary question of whether we’re likely to see the physical, printed book disappear in our lifetime. The immersive experience of reading is arguably at its height when we open up the pages of a book, holding it within our hands and letting the words sink into our minds, and EPILOGUE elicits many issues surrounding the long-standing art of the printed word, as well as reminding us why books should be cherished (there’s nothing like the smell of a good book, for one…).
With thanks to Brain Pickings – the online “human-powered discovery engine for interestingness” – for bringing this brilliant film to our attention.