So, I’ve been head-down on commercial audio recordings for the most part so far this year, but found a little time to squeeze an entertaining piece of non-fiction into a just-published LibriVox collection.
Octave Uzanne’s The End of Books is a lively set of imaginings on Life in the Future, from 1894. There’s a brief consideration of geography, food, art — and then Uzanne’s ideas about what will happen to books. Most splendidly, he saw a complete upheaval of Print Dominance by the then-modern science of phonography and speculates on the ubiquity of audiobooks, played on portable gadgets or streamed straight to the home. So that’s Walkmen / MP3 players neatly predicted, and a very tiny sliver of the internet if you’re interpreting him generously. It all makes a pleasant change from the current “Will ebooks kill print books?”, “Will book-piracy kill ebooks?”, “Will anyone be reading in any form whatsoever when they can just watch a movie? Or YouTube video?”-type questions.
Of course, there’s nothing new under the sun and here’s a chance to link to a favourite video of mine, the Medieval Help Desk … a scene you can almost quite imagine happening as people struggle to change with the times.
To listen to my recording: [audio:http://www.archive.org/download/nonfiction025_librivox/snf025_endofbooks_uzanne_cs_64kb.mp3]
Or to download other formats (and check out the rest of the collection) visit Short Non-Fiction Collection #25