Ummm . . . Yeah

Evan at A Different Stripe points out a rather odd statement made by Daniel J. Kramer about the Espresso Book Machine on On the Media:

“Now, instead of spending years tracking down Burton’s Anatomy of Melancholy, you just print it out, go home with a copy of it in your back pocket and finally read it.”

Well, uh, there are two big problems with this. First of, “NYRB”: reprinted Anatomy of Melancholy a number of years ago, so “tracking it down” really consists of typing the words “Anatomy” and “Melancholy” into Amazon, or simply walking into any bookstore in the United States.

And as Evan says, “At 1424 pages, I don’t know that it would be all that easy to put this wonderful tome in your pocket!” Having seen an online video about the EBM, I think it would take about 4 hours to print and bind this book . . .

I’d be more interested in these ideas about the future of the book if they weren’t usually accompanied by silly, unrealistic statements, or if they didn’t involve a gadget with—as Ed Park put it —a “weirdly Fahrenheit 451–ish name.”

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