I do think there is a tinge of Mark Twain's obituary about this...but...
Just received the latest edition of Tyndale Tech and the key points David is saying are:
The inventor of the book was probably a Christian because all the earliest codexes contain Christian writings. Too poor to buy large pieces of papyrus or leather scrolls, they joined together lots of small scraps of papyrus to create a 'codex’ and wrote on both sides to maximise space.
Will our generation see the demise of the book? This has been predicted as often as the ‘paperless office’. It may happen soon – but not yet. Microsoft has dropped out of the electronic library business while Google has recently had a surprise success (see below).
1) Handheld devices are good, but not good enough – yet.
2) Google has the legal go-ahead to scan everything – almost.
3) Copyright law gives power to paper – for now.
4) How to read books online – now.
Here's section 4 in full:
The best starting place for finding Biblical Studies books online is TynCat .com
which provides automatic links to online versions at Google and Amazon.
Amazon provides “Search Inside” facilities for a very large number of in-print books. TynCat identifies the books which they put online (or are in the process of putting on line) by adding an picture of the book on the left, and clicks you straight to the online copy.
Books.Google gives access to the largest selection of out-of-print books and a surprising number of books which are in print. They are said to have scanned 7 million books! Don’t be put off by “Limited Preview” because this often means that 90% of the book is available, though there is likely to be a limit to how much you can read in one day. The missing 10% is critical for a novel, but for textbooks, the Google copy often saves a trip to a library.
Some other online book sources are useful, especially for out-of-copyright books:
- Project_ Guttenberg – 25,000 books.
- About 400 other_sources – usefully categorized by subjects
- OAIster academic catalogue – 56% of these aren’t found in Google searches
- University_of_Pennsylvania web catalogue - 30,000 books but almost no Theology!
Bible & Church History:
- Bible-Researcher. com – careful selection of books and articles by subject
- ABZU Ancient Near East catalogue (incl websites) - incl. academic Biblical Studies
- BiblicalStudies .org – well organised books & articles in Biblical Studies & Theology
- CCEL - Christian Classics Ethereal Library – from the Fathers onward, in English
- Project_ Wittenberg – mainly Lutheran & Reformation historical works
And a scary rider!
When we had a power cut at Tyndale House, people wandered about with nothing to do,
even though almost every Biblical Studies book worth reading was on the shelves.
The end of the book is nigh.
Seems a brave thing to say when Amazon is selling so many books! I don't see the handheld devices taking over as beach reading!