This week the blog In Medias Res, which is hosted by the Institute for the Future of the Book, has gathered together a bunch of great contributions around the theme, “Books as Screens.” Definitely, definitely check them out.
On Monday Hollis Griffin of Northwestern University contributed a post called “Talking Heads: Books, Authors, and Television News.” There he explores the becoming-everyday of books and authors on TV, in an era of media deregulation and convergence. Yesterday one of his colleagues at Northwestern, Elizabeth Lenaghan, posted a provocative meditation called, “How Do you Hide Behind a Kindle?” She asks, “Apart from our ability to snoop on fellow train riders or pass quick judgment on a person’s taste, what are the potential consequences of fewer printed books in public spaces?” Today IMR is featuring my thoughts on “The Selling of Bookselling.” It’s largely a riff off of the themes I develop in Chapter 2 of The Late Age of Print, which explores the politics of retail bookselling in the United States. On Thursday we’ll see a post entitled “Possible or Probable? An Imagined Future of the Book” from Pomona College’s Kathleen Fitzpatrick. Capping things off on Friday will be New York University’s Lisa Gitelman, whose post is called “What Are Books?”
In Medias Res is an intriguing publication in that it asks contributors not to post per se but rather to briefly “curate” a film or video clip, often connected to some larger theme. I love that the blog is hosted by the Institute for the Future of the Book, and that Hollis Griffin and Elizabeth Lenaghan finally connected the dots between books and audiovisual media to give us our theme, “Books as Screens.” Thanks, you two! And thanks to all of you, my readers, for hopping on over to IMR to post comments.