Bolter Read

Bolter article

Zee Murphy

Intro to Writing Arts

Prof. William Wolf


As I read In the late age of Print and Writing as a technology by Bolter, I have to be completely honesty, I’ve never thought there would be a time when there would be a threat to books. Bolter says, “ word processing, data bases, email, world wide web and computer graphics are displacing printed communication for various purposes.” I agree that it is changing but there is still time before it totally displaces it totally. I say that because every time I visit Barnes and Nobles it’s full of people who still have a love for print. Digital media has become a fast growing business. I have always loved reading since I started at the age of three. Going to the library was and still is one of my favorite things to do. Nothing beats holding a book in your hands as you turn the pages to read it. I especially love childrens books. The print, the illustrations and the smell all continue to remind me of when books were a way to escape where I was and whatever I was going through.

Bolter writes about people like me. Ones who believe computers will never replace printed books. He gives a fair comparison: books are portable, cheaper and easier to read. Whereas the computer is not that comfortable, eyestrain and can not be read in bed. It also needs to use electricity to re-charge the battery when necessary. We all know that technology is changing rapidly. What was the must have tech product today is outdated in three months.  But I must admit, there is nothing like climbing into a large comfortable chair and curling up with a good   book and a mug of hot chocolate.

Bolter gives a great description of how writing has evolved from ink and paper, to the use of the word processor in the 1980’s to the use of computer technology highly used and preferred today. Through use of the world wide web, email, fancy computer graphics it seem that printed books and magazines for that matter is becoming thinner and thinner. Although books in print have not been totally phased out I’m sure it will be in another 20 years. I’ve noticed over the past three years how thin some of my favorite magazines have become. Essence, Black Enterprise and even the Awake magazines have all been cut by at least 50% of the size they were in the 1980’s & 1990’s.  I am currently working on a book and I can’t help but wonder if I will just have to sale it as a digital download.