What If Print Was Created After Digital? A Fair Question That Is “Fully Booked”…

May 26, 2013

fully_booked_gestalten_motto_01Close your eyes and imagine a world with no print. No books or magazines in print formats. Ink on Paper has not been invented yet. Just imagine that we live in a digital age and all our reading materials and all our knowledge arrives to us via digital screens, some are tiny like an iPhone and some are big like an iPad.

Now imagine you are holding a book that begins with, “Let me state this for the record: The internet is not dead. Digital will not disappear. Print will not kill the web. It’s easy to forget when physical books were invented, news websites ignored them, and then laughed at them as niche pursuit for geeks. Now here we are… and the same journalists are declaring the death of the Internet, as the hype and excitement surrounding print and paper travels inexorably around the world…”

Well, the aforementioned book introduction is not a figment of the imagination. It is the introduction written by Andrew Losowsky to the book he co-edited for the German publisher Gestalten called Fully Booked: Ink on Paper.

So, as I flip the pages of my recently bought copy, I can’t help but think, what if print was introduced as a new medium? After all, I’ve always said that every time a new copy of the newspaper lands in my driveway, and every time a new issue of the magazine arrives in my mail box, they are new media.

Just think about the possibilities.

The ending of Andrew’s introduction is as good as the beginning, but I am not going to spoil the surprise for those who are going to buy a copy of the book and read all about this new medium: ink on paper books… I just may add the word “magazines” to books.

Long live the newly discovered medium: ink on paper, or as Andrew said, “long live print!”

One comment

  1. The premise is rather quaint and forced, but I’ll play along for the intellectual joust.

    If, by some strange quirk of invention intervention, books came later in development than the internet and a fully-fledged digital existence came first, print would be dead on the door step of the stork’s arrival. It is only the historic quaintness and fondly remembered comfort zone that will keep print alive for a few generations more as it is.

    The assumption that society would crave extremely old and un-correctable data, fiction, news or otherwise and prefer a non-refreshing page after growing up with the joy of them is absurd on any level.

    We are moving ahead and society will be better off for the global democratization of knowledge and ability to access any and all instant information 24/7.

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