By Edward Nawotka
Today’s lead story by Chris Kubica outlines a future for books in which they are not physical objects, but relational databases. The, argues Kubica, enables the writer to open up the text and unlock the information inside, allowing the reader to engage more fully — and even participate — in the growth and development of the book. It is a future where books are “neverending” texts that integrate the experiences of the readers themselves, giving readers a genuine role to play in the life of the book.
Jed Perl in his recent article for The New Republic, “Alone, With Words” argues quite the opposite, suggesting that though technology has all but disintermediated the experience of writing from reading, “writing, for the writer, ought to have a freestanding value, a value apart from the reader.”