From Aldus to iPod: Books and Personal Media Devices as Extensions of the Self

By Anna H. Perrault and Courtney Crummett.

Published by The International Journal of the Book

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

During the Renaissance, the printed book became a personal object, a surrogate or personification of the self. The iPod has assumed the same role in the digital age that the printed book played in the analog world. This paper explores the roles of the book in the formation of “the early modern self,” and the iPod as equivalent in the post-modern era. The aspects of community vs. individuality and the parallels between the fostering of community and the isolation of the self that new media have influenced are presented with the book and the iPod as exemplars for their respective technologies. Implications for the future of the “book” in both technologies are addressed. This paper references sources in both the history of the book and print culture and modern writings on personal digital devices as social phenomena.

Keywords: Books, Print Culture, Digital Media, Personal Media Devices, iPod, Aldus Manutius

International Journal of the Book, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp.1-8. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.190MB).

Dr. Anna H. Perrault

Professor, School of Library and Information Science, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida, USA

Anna Perrault, Ph.D(Florida State University); MS, MA(Louisiana State University); BAHons(U. Mississippi). Research interests: analysis and assessment of information resources and services, academic libraries and electronic resources. Widely published in collection analysis and assessment of academic library collections, aggregated collections of global resources. Distin. graduate FSU (2003; LSU (2004). President of Beta Phi Mu, intl. lib. info sci honor society.

Courtney Crummett

Bioinformatics and Biosciences Librarian, Engineering and Science Library, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Cambridge MA, USA

Courtney Crummett is the Bioinformatics and Biosciences Librarian at MIT’s Engineering and Science Library. Her research interests include how technology impacts information access.


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