Sometimes the absurdity of academics cracks me up. I came across a wonderful post this morning about the changing nature of history and the humanities – “Millions of Sources: the disruption of history and the humanities?”
Brian Matthews introduced his post with:
“The humanities as we know them should be called the print humanities. They began with the rise of print materials and the practices and methodologies associated with them are bound to that format. Right now we have print humanities and digital humanities but eventually all humanities will be digital humanities. We’re in an evolutionary stage.”
Having written a post about “digital humanities” a couple of years ago, I was eager to see how academics were viewing the continuing evolution. Matthews referred to Breaking the Book: Print Humanities in the Digital Age by Laura Mandell.
I eagerly went to Amazon.com to purchase a Kindle version of the book. Oops. The book was supposed to be published IN PRINT in April 2014. Nothing there. And there is only a pointer for a hardcover of the print version. There was no Kindle version.
At least Peter Meyers in his two versions of Breaking the Page: Transforming Books and the Reading Experience published the Kindle version first. Yet, even Peter with his deep insights into the transformation of the print book to the digital book admits that he prefers the authoring and reading process for the print book.
Today I celebrate my transition from print to digital with this blog post. But first I must print it out so that I can edit it, and hold it, and get ink stains on my hands so that I know that I have really written something.