The Democratization of reading: from the printed pocketbook to the ebook
Authors: Ana Do Carmo, Elisabete Rolo
Abstract: The form and use of the book as an artefact have changed under the influence of technological, formal, and cultural factors. The appearance of the printed book contributed to the increase in learning how to write and read. The faster multiplication of texts, within reach of a wider audience, with the desire to enable the transport for reading or consult at any time, increased the demand for books in small format, in a “portable format”. The emergence of a reading public, directly associated with initiatives to promote education, the various transformations in the book production process, as well as the reconfiguration of the book format and its availability in pocket size through decisions focused on the needs of the readers, have contributed significantly to the popularisation of books, and reading.Today, it is possible to read printed books with various formal characteristics and from different digital formats on various reading devices, such as computers, tablets, e-readers, and smartphones. This context has contradicted the idea that the printed book would “die” and reinforced a scenario of lasting coexistence of printed and digital books, in which both play a part in democratising book reading.Through a literature review, this paper aims to understand the role of the printed pocketbook, and now the ebook and its reading on mobile devices, in democratising reading.
Keywords: pocketbook, digital book, the democratisation of reading, portable book
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