Monday, August 15, 2011

Future of the Book - artifact?

As a rocket kid and the author of books, I was intrigued by this thoughtful piece in the Guardian about the possible future of the book in the post-Kindle era.

The most interesting thing in it was my introduction to the term "wilfing." The "What was I looking for?" aspect of being online seems on the surface antitethical to the concentration required to read cogently, say, a piece of literature, even a short one. I think it's doing something else to us: it's breaking down the linear thinking we have been schooled in for centuries. What does that open the door to? A way of making connections that can seem random, but might often be intuitive. An openness to a new way of connecting things, perhaps. Or perhaps, as some suggest, just a giant waste of an afternoon.

I don't know, but I do know that I have "chanced" upon some amazingly helpful finds in my wilfing hours, things that found their way into poems, grant proposals, business plans, conversations, and sometimes just the sense of wonder that I prize most in my days.

Wilf away, I say, but then set aside time to focus. Both and, not either or.