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EL-336. McLuhan (180-263). Sitting, waiting, and Willing

"Moreover, thanks to printing and the multiplication of texts, the book ceased to seem a precious object to be consulted in a library: there was more ans more need to be able to carry it about readily in order to refer to it or to read it anywhere at any time." (Febvre and Martin p,207)
The book is much like that of a work of art, it no longer sat on a shelf in an institution collecting dust and the occasional reader, the book became portable; like that of an easel. To deinstitutionalize something meant to set it free from the confines of isolation. Readers also used the book for other purposes other than to be enjoyed, they used it for research and other educational purposes, the book became accessible.


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the book defintley became functional. I mean I can get one by any means, online or in person now. Access to a book has defintley changed over the course of McLuhan to present day.

Good point Rachel. I think that now more than ever the book and other forms of literacy technology are readily available because of the internet.

The ability to access a variety of books change society on all levels. Since the book became widespread/portable, those who needed books for various reasons could do so without the hassle of transporting giant packages. Because the book no longer pertained to a specific group, a wider arena of ideas could now be access and examined.

I think that electronic texts are more efficient for research. Instead of leafing through a book w/out an index, you can type in your subject matter and hit "find". Instead of carrying a million books back and forth(which I did last spring break..thank you STW),all the texts can be compacted without having to omitt any writing.

there is a downside to the efficiency. people might not take the time to read, skimming instead. But, like I said, the electronic text is beneical for research. I still prefer to read an actual book when reading for pleasure or a class assignment.

Yes -- ready access can be a problem when you're faced with hundreds of possibilities and no clear criteria for how to evaluate the possibilities.

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