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THE END OF THE BOOK. OR NOT, AFTER ALL.

Drawing from Dave Eggers Moleskine, donated to Lettera27, a Moleskine-funded nonprofit that supports international literacy programs.

It’s funny how after the big boom of e-readers, electronic books and all the fuzz, prognostics and predictions about the soon ending of the book, theoreticians, authors, publishers, marketers – and all kinds of field specialists  – are entering a second turning point and gradually changing their minds again, and giving books – and paper – a second chance.

But amongst them, some seem to have never lost their faith in books’ potential and the future of reading… in paper!

Like Dave Eggers, who believes that conventional wisdom – defending that because of the digital our attention span is decreasing, as long as our capacity to take on long readings – is tendentiously wrong. And he offers empirical proof of what he believes, giving his experience with kids at Valencia 826 as an example. He even argues that maybe we – adults – are the ones who can’t live without our social networks and e-mail accounts and maybe we’re just projecting from our own behavior.

Also Print Mag recently wrote an article about Moleskine and their bet on paper that also makes us think that the case is not lost for books. If we were to believe in the apocalyptic predictions earlier mentioned, how would one explain that a brand created only fifteen years ago – yes, we were already at the doors of the ‘new digital’! – completely based in paper media products, is having so much success?! ‘Fifteen years ago, when we started the Moleskine venture, we strongly bet on the fact that writing and paper could have a future,’ says one of Moleskine’s executives in the article. Indeed it had, and probably still will. With such a strong target oriented marketing campaign, Moleskine just hit the spot and is here to prove that people still write by hand, still draw with pens and pencils, and still like to do it in a good quality paper.

Last but not least, if our concentration capacities are becoming more… concentrated, the book is dead and the novel doomed, how is it possible that the number of big, extensive and ‘heavy’ books is increasing more than ever? According to Garth Risk Hallberg and his essay published in The Millions (and also eye evidence that anyone can confirm by paying a short visit to any bookshop) the number of big novels being published this and last year is multiplying fast. ‘For amid all the debatable, slippery stuff about our evolving consciousness, the relationship between the novel and a certain quality of attention appears to be inescapable. Whether in long or otherwise demanding books, or in long or otherwise demanding sentences, or in prodigious subtleties of perspective, writers of the 21st century continue to seek out an audience possessed of that attention. And, in defiance (so far) of predictions to the contrary, readers keep rising up to meet them.’

Such optimistic views! And we like that.

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