chapter  Introduction
Distractions from the Printed Word
Pages 22

Robert Darnton has written quite positively about the digitized future, yet in The Case for Books: Past, Present, and Future, he includes chapters on "A Paean to Paper" and "The Mysteries of Reading," almost as if he is remembering his own past via the "unashamed apology for the printed word". A small genre of writing about printed books has arisen when various prompters asked important writers what they thought about books "in general" or as material objects as well as symbolic sites of meaning. Meanwhile, in November 2007, Amazon began marketing its "Kindle" electronic reading device, and Barnes and Noble followed suit in 2009 with its "Nook." An excited friend and dedicated older reader of printed materials recently confided having spent only a few dollars for "all of Mark Twain," adapted for use on his electronic reader—thanks to Google's handing over to Barnes and Noble in 2014, the results of their scanning.