Reading never goes out of style, even in the age of technology.
In the August 1894 issue of Scribner’s magazine, an article by Octave Uzanne, predicted “The End of Books,” proposing that in the 20th century, the printed page will be replaced by “storyographs,” patented cylinders containing recordings of books, and writers replaced by “Narrators” that read stories aloud for the recordings. Uzanne imagines today’s libraries transformed into “phonographotecks” or “phonostereoteks,” repositories for the “storyographs.” He also imagined portable players that he called “pocket phono-opera-graphs.”
While Uzanne’s predictions almost accurately cover audiobooks, ebooks, mp3 players, and personal ebook readers, he was wrong on one count: the introduction of these technologies did not herald the end of books, but rather gives the 21st century person new ways to enjoy the printed page, enhancing the reading experience for the page-turner.
As the Manila International Book Fair, the paramount event of the Philippine book industry, marks its 30th anniversary this year on Sept 16-20 at the SMX Convention Center, it once again welcomes book lovers to celebrate it celebrates the written word in all its forms.