Digitization is changing the world of literature daily. Each day I add another bookmark to a growing file of articles on topics ranging from Japan’s love of cell phone novels (in the London Times & and the NY Times) to the removal of piracy protection on audiobooks (in the NY Times & Cory Doctorow’s take on Boing-Boing.) Authors & publishers are embracing change by posting free content online, such as Neil Gaiman’s story â€œA Study in Emeraldâ€ available as both eBook & audiobook (read by Gaiman) on HarperCollins’ website.
These changes have prompted many to ponder the future of the book. Random House UK’s C.E.O. Gail Rebuck presented a brilliant essay as the Stationers’ Company Annual Lecture on the evening of March 10th. The address, titled â€œNew Chapter or Last Page? Publishing Books in a Digital Age,â€ was made to the members of a Guild formed in 1403 for the publishing industry, a fitting group to contemplate the message. Read the whole speech here. I believe this to be a must-read for all who value the literary past and who look to the future of publishing.