The Wisdom of the Book

By John Man.

Published by The International Journal of the Book

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

When Tim Berners-Lee wanted to tell us about the origins of the web, he did not merely trust to his own invention. He wrote a book about it. The reason he wrote a book, the reason why the book will not become a threatened species, is because books do things that electronic devices don’t.

International Journal of the Book, Volume 1. Article: Print (Spiral Bound), ISSN: 1447-9516, BC03-0006-2003. Article: Electronic (PDF File; 91.928KB), ISSN: 1447-9567, BC03-0006-2003.

John Man

Historian and travel writer and author of The Gutenberg Revolution and Alpha Beta. My interest in the book is part of a wider interest in those four revolutions in recorded information that have created human interaction as we know it today: the invention of writing, the alphabet, printing with movable type, and the Internet. I've written Revolutions 2 and 3 ("Alpha Beta" and "The Gutenberg Revolution", or "Gutenberg" as it is in the US). I'll be far advanced on No 1 by the time of the conference. Whether I get around to No. 4 is open at present. Revolution in this context means something new coming on top of, but not replacing, what came before. So the book has a great future - it's the only way to cut through the weight of (electronic)information to present what is truly significant and enduring. We'll need books because we'll always need insight and wisdom, properly packaged, accessible, and portable.


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