FutureBook carries a review of a BBC program on that old e-cliché, the Death Of The Book. Called “Books – The Last Chapter?”, the program is available on BBC’s iPlayer, but only for people in the UK. Judging from review writer Philip Jones’s description, it doesn’t sound like I’m missing very much.
Jones notes that the show started from the position that it was a sad thing that print books were on the way out, and went on from there. It seems to have some rather odd blind spots, such as not really looking at why readers were finding e-books more attractive, and doesn’t seem to have paid much attention to the real issues.
Typically Farenheit 451 turned up at one point, but [show host Alan] Yentob managed to mangle the point, by saying that that though books were banned (and burnt), rebels had learned them off by heart to preserve them. The "them" here was ambiguous, but since Yentob was carrying a physical copy of the book the implication was not. But in the Bradbury classic it is the other way round: the rebels are not part of a print preservation movement, they are protecting the content not the package. Had Bradbury offered them a Kindle they’d have jumped for joy.
I agree with Jones that it’s a bit annoying that we keep seeing this kind of poorly-thought-out luddite/nostalgia piece, though it’s probably to be expected over the next few years. But people who like to smell books really need to wake up and smell the coffee instead.