May 20, 2022

The New Yorker: “Amid Fears About the Death of Books, Finding New Ways to Bring Them to Life”

From The New Yorker:

As Leah Price suggests in her brisk new study, “What We Talk About When We Talk About Books: The History and Future of Reading” (Basic), physical books—which, ten or so years ago, many fretted might soon be obsolete—show no signs of going away. Nobody would try to pop a cyst with a Kindle or prop open a window with a phone.


Price, who has taught English at Cambridge, Harvard, and Rutgers universities, is the founding director of the Rutgers Book Initiative, a wide-ranging venture that promotes book history at universities and libraries. She is not an elegist for print: her extraordinary grasp of every development in book history, from incunabula to beach reads, monasteries to bookmobiles, suggests that a love of printed matter need not be a form of nostalgia. She warns of the danger of turning books into a “bunker,” a place to wait out the onslaught of digital life. Print, she reminds us, was itself once a destabilizing technology.

Read the Complete Article (approx. 1400 words)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.