". . . But the past does not exist independently from the present. Indeed, the past is only past because there is a present, just as I can point to something over there only because I am here. But nothing is inherently over there or here. In that sense, the past has no content. The past -- or more accurately, pastness -- is a position. Thus, in no way can we identify the past as past." p. 15

". . . But we may want to keep in mind that deeds and words are not as distinguishable as often we presume. History does not belong only to its narrators, professional or amateur. While some of us debate what history is or was, others take it into their own hands." p. 153

Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History (1995) by Michel-Rolph Trouillot

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Reading Wednesday: E-Book Sales Slip & Print Far From Dead -- But Libraries Hide Information

From behind the NY Times paywall:

"E-Book Sales Slip & Print Far From Dead"

E-sales of 99¢ and self-pub fiction are doing just fine -- still the best selling content on amazilla.

It seems that once publishers won back the right to set prices for their own e-versions of books -- instead of amazilla selling them for 99¢ -- people went back to buying the print version, since the price difference between them wasn't as great as the $1.99 or $2.99 price the online controller made it previously.

Additionally people are preferring to read e-versions on their phones not on dedicated amazilla readers, which means they don't have to buy everything from amazilla, but can get the content from libraries and so on as well.

Yet it is heartening that print book and mortar stores are doing so much better.

Now, if libraries, particularly research libraries, would only understand this, and put books back on the shelves. The other day we were in Bobst and the entire American history section was gone. Among other thing this means all the collections of Founding Fathers' papers are offsite -- everything! Thank goodness we finished TASC before they ripped out the heart of the history collections.

It seems to me that when libraries went digital, depending on the pay digital databases and for downloading pdfs of many, many books, access to information was severely curtailed. They guard access to those pay digital services more severely than the Secret Service guards entry to the White House. Only those privileged in some way -- often in several ways -- now have access to information that demands serious research. This includes public libraries as much as research libraries.

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