We haven’t seen the death of paper books yet, but there’s already a documentary about its impending demise. EBooks are not as tactile, aromatic, or spatial as traditional forms of reading, but they are helping to spread the joys of reading to places where transportation is problematic. The works of philanthropic organizations like Worldreader and The Information Heritage Initiative would be impossible without digital books.
history of ebooks
A few days ago I posted about a 15 page guide on the History of Project Gutenberg. You might recall that at the time I recommended keeping an eye on the PG blog. Mike Cook announced yesterday that he will be posting translated copies of Marie Lebert’s series of articles on the history of eBooks.
The series consists of over 40 articles and is the culmination of 12 years of research and involved over 100 people world-wide. The articles had been previously been published in French (her native tongue). The first article, titled eBooks: 1991 – From ASCII to Unicode, was posted today on the Project Gutenberg blog.
In preparation for Read An eBook Week (next week), Piotr Kowalczyk of Password Incorrect put together a chart showing the highpoints of the 40 year history of ebooks, from the first eBook digitized by Project Gutenberg to today.
You can click on the image above to see it full size, or you can visit ebookfriend.ly and see it there.