How Important is the Printed Book?

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There has been a race or a competition between digital books and printed books, and between digital anything and printed materials and even between the free Internet and the paid book. Though many more people still appear to be more comfortable with reading a printed book over consuming it on a device, that still could change. The answer will not be that digital nor print goes away and only one is used exclusively, but the question is: How can a balance be ensured so that the printed book never leaves us?

Books can be seen as something other than a housing of knowledge or ideas. It can go beyond the transmission of mere text. ‘A beautifully produced book,’ says Pearson, ‘or a splendidly illustrated one, will often be readily regarded as a work of art in its own right.’

He adds: ‘The potential of books as forms of art goes beyond the juxtaposition of text and pictures, or the use of pleasing typography in good layouts; people have sought to apply a creative vision to all the various elements that make up a book, to achieve a genuine fusion of words, images and design in a synthesis that relies partly on the physical format of the book for its effectiveness.'”

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