No Book Will Be an Island

Yet the common vision of the library's future (even the e-book future) assumes that books will remain isolated items, independent from one another, just as they are on shelves in your public library. There, each book is pretty much unaware of the ones next to it. When an author completes a work, it is fixed and finished. Its only movement comes when a reader picks it up to animate it with his or her imagination. In this vision, the main advantage of the coming digital library is portability — the nifty translation of a book's full text into bits, which permits it to be read on a screen anywhere. But this vision misses the chief revolution birthed by scanning books: in the universal library, no book will be an island.


once digitized, books can be unraveled into single pages or be reduced further, into snippets of a page. These snippets will be remixed into reordered books and virtual bookshelves. Just as the music audience now juggles and reorders songs into new albums (or "playlists," as they are called in iTunes), the universal library will encourage the creation of virtual "bookshelves" — a collection of texts, some as short as a paragraph, others as long as entire books, that form a library shelf's worth of specialized information. And as with music playlists, once created, these "bookshelves" will be published and swapped in the public commons. Indeed, some authors will begin to write books to be read as snippets or to be remixed as pages. The ability to purchase, read and manipulate individual pages or sections is surely what will drive reference books (cookbooks, how-to manuals, travel guides) in the future. You might concoct your own "cookbook shelf" of Cajun recipes compiled from many different sources; it would include Web pages, magazine clippings and entire Cajun cookbooks. Amazon currently offers you a chance to publish your own bookshelves (Amazon calls them "listmanias") as annotated lists of books you want to recommend on a particular esoteric subject. And readers are already using Google Book Search to round up minilibraries on a certain topic — all books about Sweden, for instance, or books on clocks. Once snippets, articles and pages of books become ubiquitous, shuffle-able and transferable, users will earn prestige and perhaps income for curating an excellent collection.


Kevin Kelly new media prediction that echoes why I use MemexPlex for logging my research.

Folksonomies: research ebooks books curating

/art and entertainment/books and literature (0.711988)
/art and entertainment/comics and animation/comics (0.289055)
/technology and computing/software/graphics software/animation (0.239397)

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Amazon:Company (0.718632 (positive:0.489736)), Kevin Kelly:Person (0.579932 (negative:-0.393238)), new media:FieldTerminology (0.524270 (negative:-0.393238)), Google:Company (0.498285 (neutral:0.000000)), Sweden:Country (0.458212 (neutral:0.000000))

Book (0.947392): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Library (0.883120): dbpedia | freebase
Public library (0.834012): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Cookbook (0.771849): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
E-book (0.720143): dbpedia | freebase | yago
Librarian (0.691859): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Digital library (0.667660): dbpedia | freebase | yago
Types of library (0.661740): dbpedia

 Scan This Book!
Electronic/World Wide Web>Internet Article:  Kelly, Kevin (May 14, 2006), Scan This Book!, New York Times, Retrieved on 2011-04-06
  • Source Material []
  • Folksonomies: internet ebooks technology books


    15 MAY 2011

     MemexPlex as New Media

    This is a survey of New Media memes throughout history, with comments on each in how it relates to MemexPlex.