In defence of the book and other thoughts on the digitalization of knowledge

Tony Bates, e-learning & distance education resources, Aug 03, 2010
Commentary by Stephen Downes

If I had the time, I would write a book, and if I thought I could make a living off it, I'd find the time. But the reality (despite the assertion that 'authors need to be paid' found in this post and many others) is that making a living off a book you write is a longshot. So while I am well-disposed toward Tony Bates and wish him all the best in book publishing, I simply don't think his defense of the book really scales. That said, this post is a nice analysis of the argument, and I especially like the way it looks at a 'defense of the book' through several dimensions:
- the 'book' as a long form piece of writing, as opposed to short
- the 'book' as a print publication, as opposed to electronic
- the 'book' as a commercial product, as opposed to open content
Related: Blue Skunk Blog, 'Do you work for your publisher, or..?'
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