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Download The Case for Books: Past, Present, and Future Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample The Case for Books: Past, Present, and Future (Unabridged), by Robert Darnton
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (381 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Robert Darnton Narrator: David Henr Publisher: Public Affairs Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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The invention of writing was one of the most important technological, cultural, and sociological breakthroughs in human history. With the printed book, information and ideas could disseminate more widely and effectively than ever before - and in some cases, affect and redirect the sway of history.

Today, nearly one million books are published each year. But is the era of the book as we know it - a codex of bound pages - coming to an end? And if it is, should we celebrate its demise and the creation of a democratic digital future, or mourn an irreplaceable loss?

The digital age is revolutionizing the information landscape. Already, more books have been scanned and digitized than were housed in the great library in Alexandria, making available millions of texts for a curious reader at the click of a button, and electronic book sales are growing exponentially. Will this revolution in the delivery of information and entertainment make for more transparent and far-reaching dissemination - or create a monopolistic stranglehold?

In The Case for Books, Robert Darnton, an intellectual pioneer in the field of the history of the book and director of Harvard University's Library, offers an in-depth examination of the book from its earliest beginnings to its shifting role today in popular culture, commerce, and the academy. As an author, editorial advisor, and publishing entrepreneur, Darnton is a unique authority on the life and role of the book in society. This book is a wise work of scholarship - one that requires listeners to carefully consider how the digital revolution will broadly affect the marketplace of ideas. Download and start listening now!


Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Jodi | 1/7/2014

    " The collection of essays isn't bad but I feel like the cover and title are a little misleading. It doesn't have all that much to do with "the future of the book". still it's worth reading. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Jonathan | 10/9/2013

    " The title here is a bit misleading, this isn't a straightforward monograph on the debate over the future of the book, but a series of previously published essays by the head librarian of Harvard University. Still, it's clear Darnton believes there is a future for the printed word, and his is a leading voice for public dissemination of knowledge rather than proprietary ownership. His first chapter on Google Books alone is worth the price of the book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Drew | 9/7/2013

    " Underwhelming. Darnton stitches together a hodgepodge of vaguely related essays in what appears to be an opportunistic bid for either attention or a quick buck. Skip it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Khalid | 6/13/2013

    " Robert Darnton doesn't want to have to choose between books and e-books. That's at the core of this compelling collection of essays and articles, some of which have been published elsewhere and some of which are new. He wants knowledge to be available and accessible -- and loves the idea of how new technologies can accomplish that. On the other hand, he has a number of concerns about the unintended or unexpected consequences of a future that rests solely on digital content, such as the fact that Google and others pursuing projects to digitize books aren't doing so as a public service. As Darnton points out, they do not see libraries as "temples of learning", but rather buildings that contain "potential assets or what they call 'content', ready to mined" at a cost that will be a fraction of the expense that went into building those collections. "

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