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 clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Or to download other formats (and check out the rest of the collection) visit Short Non-Fiction Collection #25

This article was filed under * My Recordings, Non-Fiction, Videos.

2 Responses to “New recording: The End of Books by Octave Uzanne”

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  1. Cori

    Thankyou so much, Roshan — it’s great to hear from you. :) Really appreciated.

  2. Roshan

    Hi Cori ..
    absolutely loved your rendition for Black beauty …I am a stay at home wife…and i love reading books…but ever since i came across librivox’s recording for black beauty , i have loved listening to audio books.. love your voice..!!

    God bless!!

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