The National Endowment for the Arts recently issued To Read or Not to Read, a major research report on reading and literacy patterns in the United States. This controversial report painted a predictably dire picture of current trends in reading, but neglected to consider reading in an electronic context.
Yet with the recent release of Amazon Kindle and other new eBook technologies coming down the pike, it's clear that the act of "reading" is a work in progress. Here are three blogs that offer lively perspectives on the future of the book—and the changing nature of reading—in our increasingly digital world.
if: book—A Project of the Institute for the Future of the Book
This blog is the "public mind space" of the Institute for the Future of the Book, a New York-based think tank funded by the MacArthur Foundation and dedicated to inventing new forms of discourse for the network age. The blog discusses the shift to digital, the book's "reinvention" in a networked environment, intellectual property issues, privacy, and other aspects of the "techno-cultural puzzle that is the future of reading, writing and ideas."
Print is Dead
The Print is Dead blog is a website to promote Print is Dead: Books in Our Digital Age, a book by Jeff Gomez published in print and electronic formats in 2007. The blog provides commentary on the future of the book and the ongoing developments in the "print is dead" debate—plus links to articles on the fate of physical media and the effect of these changes on culture, commerce, and communication.
TeleRead: Bring the E-Books Home
Advocating "well-stocked national digital libraries," this blog provides news and opinion pieces, as well as podcasts, on e-books, libraries, publishing, and many other topics. Coming to the site soon are reader forums, e-book recommendations, bookmarking systems, and a storytelling podcast.
Tell us about the library-related blogs you think highly of. Email your suggestions to: editor@METRO.org.