Books: Art Objects In The Digital Age

I’ve said before and I’ll keep saying it, I regard cloth-bound books in the digital age as art objects — artefacts to evaluate primarily in terms of design. When I enter a bookstore now I feel similarly to when I enter a museum: I’m enjoying the art on display rather than doing reading, which I accomplish more and more on a digital device (usually an iPhone, because I hate having to lug a tablet or laptop around town). Many writers are starting to view the book as I do: chiefly as a locus of design. One of them is Jonathan Safran Foer, who last November published “Tree of Codes,” whose integration of writing and design, as well as its strong tactile appeal, led reviewers to liken it to a “sculptural object.”

Leave a Comment