Monday, March 5, 2012

The immortal book, or, the New York Times needs a fact checker

Those of you who read (and remember) what I write on this blog might not be surprised to hear that I am particularly attentive to the language of permanence when referring to library collections (or anything else for that matter). With that in mind I will acknowledge a sigh/groan/eye-roll when I read the otherwise interesting article in Saturday's New York Times about the Internet Archive's repository of physical books.

The third paragraph of the article just had to begin "Destined for immortality..." when speaking about the physical books which were arriving to be placed into storage. Apart from just being a cheap journalist cliche, this statement is factually, philosophically, chemically, and in every other way WRONG. 

The Decayed Book - by Edward Baker (edwbaker) from flickr


  1. Along the same lines, I invite you and others to view Mark Cockram's project on The Decayed Book here.

  2. PS, and despite the mold and other decay, large parts of it could still be read..., something not possible with digital media in the same state of decay unless backed up in lots of locations.

  3. Thanks so much for the link to the Decayed Book video. I was quite intrigued by it. It is along the lines of an "art" project I've been pondering but never attempted. Perhaps this will give me the motivation. At this point, my "art" project would involve books and mayonaisse and warm summer days.

  4. Kevin,
    You might also like - Very interesting project by Steven Daiber / Red Trillium Press in which the circle of the book closes to begin again...

    See also and