Turning the page on paper texts?

Feel the Future


Books, Magazines, Newspapers, Pets and Boyfriends will all be obsolete in the FUTURE...

God Save the book
Readers & Books Duke it Out


Letter From the Editor
I hope this publication isn’t too insular. It felt a bit strange to be writing an online magazine solely based on the debate surrounding digital vs print texts. There are pros and cons for both, and while I am an avid “old school” book lover, I’m also a fan of blogging and web technology. I must preface the reading of this magazine by stating that I have never used a Kindle and/or other digital readers (mostly because I don’t have $300-400 lying around), but I’ve begun to do a lot more online reading since beginning university. My observations and feelings are based off of this experience. It’s difficult to trust online publishing, especially after growing up with the dominance of physical books. Was something really written when it says it was? Was it posted late? Are the sources credible? The convenience and possibilities for digital readers seem incredible, but still need to be developed and improved to match the permanence and sanctity of physical, paper publications. Although we may be in a “great time of change” I ask when has the world ever not been in a time of upheaval? There’s no need to panic and covet your books or start subscribing to your favourite magazines online (unless you actually want them to survive). Explore, learn, and be open, but remember to be critical of jumping on the expensive gadget bandwagon.

Who will mourn the “death” of the book? if it ever occurs... All graphics, cartoons, and stories by Jillian S. Wood unless otherwise stated. See below for artstic credits. Mail: Tweet: Web:

-Jillian Wood

The Revolution is...Editor-in-Chief

This Month...

The Loss of HaPtics in a Digital World ...4
Moving from print to digital pbulications will definitely decrease the number of papercuts we receive. However, is there more lost than we know when we give up page turning in favour of scrollbars?

The Rhetoric of Death in ...6 the age of digitization
Can technologies ever really die? A look at the past, present and future surrounding the rhetoric of “death” in terms of media and technological change.

mortal combat
Artistic Credits
Manwevarda @ Deviantart - Ninja Weapons Brushes Nyan Nyan @ Deviantart - Old Book Brushes Centric Studios - Print Shop Brushes 1

The book faces off against the digtial reader for supremacy over the way we absorb texts. If only one can come out on top, we declare a battle to the death!



Ozone - Karate - masterplan LCDMono

The L in

There’s something inexplicably delightful about cracking the spine of an old book. To handle the yellowed pages, to smell the old paper and bindings, to hold it in your hands as you lie down for an extended trip to another world (As long as its not a Dickens novel, those things can get heavy). So what happens when you move a text from its glossy pages to the glowing screen? There’s something to be said about losing the physical aspect of a text. Retention, especially in the use of digital texts for educational purposes, is a huge concern in terms of a possible move to a paperless society. Anne Mangen argues in Hypertext Fiction Reading: Haptics and Immersion that deep immersion in a digital text is nearly impossible, compared to its print counter part, because of the intangibility of texts on a screen, and how this affects our multi-sensory reading experience. Digital texts cannot be literally touched, even with a mouse, unlike print texts, which are tangible, and therefore have different sensorymotor affordances than a digital text. Humans are psychologically hard wired to attempt to re-stimulate our attention, when it is exhausted, by clicking a link to change the screen. This scanning and browsing makes the “reading experience one of sensory-motor (and primarily haptic) interaction with the technological features of digitalized texts” (such as page turning). This need to touch the mouse and

...Students actually had a difficult time reading digital texts ... they were not able to focus on the memories, experiences and emotions the text evoked as they read.

keyboard demands a kind of multitasking that causes readers not to be able focus, because of the possibility of what may lay beyond the “page” one is viewing. This urge explains why a computer may be a poor reading device compared to a book, which is static and provides no option of auto-stimulating an attentional response. This makes digital texts irreconcilable with the “deep, immersive state” that we experience when reading something we find riveting, according to Mangen. Mangen’s sentiments are echoed in a study by Evans and Po on the anxieties of university students in adopting hypertext fiction. It was found that students actually had a difficult time reading digital texts aesthetically, meaning they were not able to focus on the memories, experiences and emotions the text evoked as they read. According to Evans and Po, digital texts do not have the authorial control or a sense of closure which makes reading rewarding. Without these guides, Evans and Po hypothesize that reading becomes a less passive activity, and students have to piece together their responses in a meaningful framework without the same cues as a print text. This collaborative meaning making with digital narratives was unsettling to students, and Evans and Po suggest that digital texts may require new types of decoding skills. Students also found that reading from a computer uncomfortable compared to a book, which meant it was difficult to associate the reading with a leisure activity. For most of us, whose first book was a paper picture book, it is difficult to imagine a world where young readers won’t recall or use such archaic tools. Perhaps our children will be the first to get “Everybody Poops” on a digital reader, and it won’t feel strange at all.

Loss of haptics a digital world
I've Got a Feeling...

Perhaps our children will be the first to get Everybody Poops on a digital reader

The Rhetoric of “Death”
This rhetoric of death always crops up following the development o new technologies. “Newspapers are dead.” “Jouranlism is a dying industry.” Are things changing? Yes. Does that always mean that something has to die? No. Elizabeth Eisenstein explores the idea that reactions to changes in our media, such as declaring that the book is dead, are historically embedded in the past, in her article titled The End of the Book? some Perspectives on Media Change. The specific technology does not matter. The sentiments that change is excessively bad or good have always persisted. She specifically looks at reactions to the new age of journalism. Two separate accounts that she studies from the early 1700’s proclaimed that the century of the journal had dawned. However, journalists were originally discussed in disdainful terms, as the term “journalist” encompassed both respectable editors and “disreputable scandalmongers who traded in gossip and blackmail.” Journals were thought to be designed for readers too lazy to read books, and writing for a newspaper was considered a sad trade. Later, some saw the merit in the pursuits of journalism and thought that it had public benefit. When the newspaper’s popularity grew, it was disparaged as having a perverse power over the public’s thoughts. Jacques Pierre Brissot attributed newspapers with enabling the American Revolution. Louis Blanc wrote that books are suited to quieter times, and that “the age of books is dead; the age of the journal is at hand.” Eisenstein points out that these sentiments are strange considering that the same people who wrote books tended to be journalists, and that both professions have always co-existed. She discusses how neither the original criticism or praise for journalism were entirely accurate in the future of novels and newspapers. Similarly those who write for print (journalists included) now find themselves writing online texts, whether it is articles, blogs, or even simple emails.

in the age of digitization

Prolific sentiments like these stem from the idea that, as Victoria Carrington suggests in her article, The Uncanny, Digital Texts and Literacy, something that was once a part of everyday life, like physical publications, now seems uncanny because of their transference online. Dominant discourses of literature are now undermined by the ability to easily, and cheaply, create and participate in the production of writing. This doesn’t mean that newspapers are dead and blogs are thriving, but that the meaning of magazines and newspapers changes. They need to be more niche, have online or interactive components for their readers, and add to the overall democratization of the media that is occurring. They are no longer the sole viewpoint, but one of many, and need to recognize and adapt to this development. However, without “big name” publications, it’s hard to understand who is reading and how big the audience is. There’s also the problem of “preaching to the choir.” Nobody is going to follow a blog full of opinions and news they don’t care about or agree with. (After all, who is reading an online digital magazine about the possible death of print except those interested in online digital publications?) However, since most large weeklies and general interest magazines have died out, blogs need to take up convention of catering to a targeted audience as opposed to a general one. Can I possibly fathom a paperless future where publications are killed off by their online counterparts? No, not yet. As B. Danet points out in Books, Letters,

Documents - the Changing Aesthetics of Texts in Late Print Culture, we are very attached to paper because it is often used in ceremonies. Think of a graduation diploma. Would you want a digital copy sent to you instead? How about a yearbook? These embodiment experiences are cherished because of the personal touch, or physicality of documents and what they mean as a part of our life. Admittedly, people are simulating aesthetic experience online, or combining real world and online experiences, through such things as “signing” online petitions and exchanging business cards digitally. However, I still don’t think were completely ready to give up our parchment for digital copies that can be printed out when needed. There is knowledge and something special to be gleaned from original books in terms of the reading experience they elicit. Older generations fear for Gen Y and Millenals, who use online texts more than paper ones and talk in lolspeak. However, I fear for the older generations, unable to challenge traditional discourses of literacy and participate in an online smorgasbord of free speech.

The Books is Dead / Long live the book

...Battle Royale
You love to read. You love to read a lot. You love to read a lot of books. Your years of loyalty to books and publications makes it hard to just give up the paper, but the lure of a digital reader beckons you into the 21st century. If only one can come out on top, what do you choose?

mortal combat!


More book titles that are easily downloadable on a Kindle. However, not all rights can be obtained for online books. That requires going to a store, or ordering online and waiting for the physical copy to get to you. Using Amazon’s network, downloading a book is easy and fast. Just hope that your copy of 1984 doesn’t disappear because of copyright issues.

Digital readers, depending on the brand will set you back a couple hundred dollars. Most books are free at a library if you are willing to wait or are cheaper in soft cover. However a lot of classics and books without copyright are available for free on your readers.

green front

Books are easier to recycle but can perish. Its unlikely a Kindle will disintegrate (although don’t get either wet) but digital waste and battery power to make it an environmental drainer. Drop a kindle and it could be over. Drop a book and you can most likely pick it back up again with little to no damage.

ease of reading
One can struggle with the scrolling buttons, tiny screen and the zoom feature. It’s also harder to fall asleep after staring at a screen. Using you eyes and hands to focus is a lot more simple. It is incredibly unnatural for the human eye to read from a screen, and extended amount of time scanning screens can possibly lead to dry eyes and headaches.

use as a weapon
Unless you throw a plugged in digital reader into a bathtub, that baby isn’t heavy enough to do serious damage. Grab a copy of War and Peace or Gone with the Wind.