Magazine article The Wilson Quarterly

No Rip for Print

Magazine article The Wilson Quarterly

No Rip for Print

Article excerpt

THE SOURCES: Introduction to volume 37, by the editors, McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, Spring 2011, and "Five Myths About the 'Information Age" by Robert Darnton, in The ChronideReview, April 17, 2011.

THE EDITORS OF McSWEENEY'S Quarterly Concern have a one-word response to apocalyptic proclamations that the printed word is dead: phooey! They declare we have arrived at a "Golden Age of Reading and Writing."

Over the last year, McSweency's researchers delved into data from Nielsen's Bookscan, which monitors book sales to the general public. The results paint a surprisingly positive picture of the printed word's health.

In recent years, the United States touted record-setting numbers of published authors, publishers, and original book titles. Although there was a slight decline from the all-time high in 2009, book sales comfortably topped one billion volumes last year despite a lackluster economy and continuing mass unemployment. Robert Darnton, director of the Harvard University library, notes that this trend extends beyond America's borders: China and Brazil are experiencing publishing booms as well. …

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