Session 3: ASCENT OF E-READERS
Ray Siemens (CA) - Sturm und Drang, Sound and Fury? E-reading Essentials in a Time of Change and unFixity
Conference Day 1, May 20, Den Haag, 15.45 – 17.30
E-books have made the book itself visible to us as an object of study in new ways that have metaphorically and analogically fertilized and fomented our understanding of new forms of e-reader book-ishness and e-reading. As a powerful metaphor for tex- tual forms of communication, the notion of the book as knowledge environment spurs development of e-readers in the direction of emerging universal electronic libraries; considering its physical artifactual nature and formal components, book elements and features are mimicked, augmented, and enhanced as they are prototyped and deployed in electronic reading environ- ments. This paper explores e-readers and e-reading notes, asking just how much we have yet to understand about ‘reading’ in the new context of its electronic correlative acts and, perhaps, in pre-electronic times; urging that the dizzyingly rapid cycle of development, deployment, and adoption of e-reading devices has the positive effect of providing a technological disruption with the potential to benefit our understanding of the core, essential activities that our reading devices have always facilitated – electronic and otherwise; and arguing that it is understanding these activities that will allow us best to anticipate the long-term trajectories of our ascending e-readers.