ERIC Number: ED234348
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982
Reference Count: 0
The Future of the Book: Part II--The Changing Role of Reading. Studies on Books and Reading No. 9.
Noting that modern technology is challenging both the form and the function of the book and its role as the principal instrument for transmitting accumulated knowledge and ideas, this report examines the ways in which technological innovation is modifying the role and function of reading in industralized societies and how readers are integrating the book into a broader range of media sources. Following a brief introduction that discusses the economic and technological threats to books, the first section of the paper reviews the history of books and publishing, and argues that the rapid increase in the number of titles published in countries around the world since 1950 will soon begin to level off. It also cites statistics concerning reading habits in several industralized nations and looks at the professions that have contributed to the production of books, suggesting ways that technology will change them. The second section discusses the importance of promoting reading as a means of ensuring the survival of books, and the third presents possible scenarios for the near-future prospects of the book and reading, specifically school and university textbooks, encyclopedias and dictionaries, scientific publications, practical books, and general literature. The final chapter offers suggestions for responding to technological threats to the book and to reading. (FL)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, Paris (France).
Note: Prepared for the French National Commission for Unesco.