Directors: Antonio M. Battro and Kurt W. Fischer
Program officer: María Lourdes Majdalani
Back to books and their metamorphosis
With the disappearance of feather pens and typewriters, two main currents appeared some decades ago. Some were nostalgic for old books, some were enthusiastic about technological advances. Many of us, instead, started to experiment and become familiar with new outlooks.
To choose a book at a library or bookstore is an attraction. But it is also true that virtual books allow maintaining similar sensations, though in a different manner, when you leaf through the pages. Many past documents and works were lost in fires or floods, yet can remain now within websites due to digitalization, which in many cases are cost-free, thereby expanding the reading public. Money and space saving is a key matter. What took up a lot of space on book-shelves is now only a fraction of a computer’s memory. It is becoming more frequent to see people reading a digital book from their tablets or laptops, through Internet access, which are easily transported, as well as providing the author’s advantage to publish without the need of printing, and being able to correct his works when considered necessary.
In successive metamorphoses of a book, an author may become his own corrector, changing or adding new texts or illustrations. This is my case. In my website www.horacioreggini.com.ar, a collection of my books is available for computers or digital tablets. My latest book, ‘Owls fly at all times’ is available in Pdf and ePub formats, as well as an iBook version including video and sound, especially prepared for i-Pad tablets. An edited book leads to a wide spectrum of surprises, emotions and expectations which may continue changing over time, not only for readers, but also for the author. Books, which could be the last intimate refuge of a reader, may be transformed into a play, a movie or a modern installation. “Nothing is forever”, but a book is alive, it may vary its external format, but the essence of books does not disappear.
Yesterday, books were piled on bookshelves. Today, they barely take up space in computer memories, or are almost invisible in the Internet cloud. What will tomorrow bring?