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eBooks as symbols and experiences

The comments on “Losing the book as a symbol” are very interesting, touching on points of symbols vs. experiences. These two are frames that I will use to look up on how I perceive things. The author François Joseph de Kermadec argues how “Publishing needs to build new symbols for the digital age” and our current ebooks don’t perform as symbols.

Commenter Brian O’Leary argues for how ebooks evoke knowledge just as much as print books because they produce an experience we carry with us.

François  replies back that while experience is good, the book as an object operates as a physical object in the real physical world. “We base a great many decisions on what the physical world tells us, and we convey most of our messages through a complex network of symbols.”

Read more about books as symbols and the counter point of books as experience. (hat-tip to Kevin Eagan for linking to aforementioned article in his blog post, “Friday reads: ‘losing the book as a symbol’ and ‘literary machine’“)

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