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Transcriber: TED Translators admin Reviewer: Krystian Aparta
I will lend books to people, but of course, the rule is
"Don't do that unless you never intend to see that book again."
[Small thing.]
[Big idea.]
The physical object of a book is almost like a person.
I mean, it has a spine and it has a backbone.
It has a face.
Actually, it can sort of be your friend.
Books record the basic human experience
like no other medium can.
Before there were books,
ancient civilizations would record things
by notches on bones or rocks or what have you.
The first books as we know them originated in ancient Rome.
We go by a term called the codex,
where they would have two heavy pieces of wood
which become the cover,
and then the pages in between would then be stitched along one side
to make something that was relatively easily transportable.
They all had to completely be done by hand,
which became the work of what we know as a scribe.
And frankly, they were luxury items.
And then a printer named Johannes Gutenberg,
in the mid-fifteenth century, created the means to mass-produce a book,
the modern printing press.
It wasn't until then
that there was any kind of consumption of books by a large audience.
Book covers started to come into use in the early nineteenth century,
and they were called dust wrappers.
They usually had advertising on them.
So people would take them off and throw them away.
It wasn't until the turn of the nineteenth into the twentieth century
that book jackets could be seen as interesting design
in and of themselves.
Such that I look at that and I think,
"I want to read that.
That interests me."
The physical book itself represents both a technological advance
but also a piece of technology in and of itself.
It delivered a user interface
that was unlike anything that people had before.
And you could argue that it's still the best way
to deliver that to an audience.
I believe that the core purpose of a physical book
is to record our existence
and to leave it behind on a shelf, in a library, in a home,
for generations down the road to understand where they came from,
that people went through some of the same things
that they're going through,
and it's like a dialogue that you have with the author.
I think you have a much more human relationship to a printed book
than you do to one that's on a screen.
People want the experience of holding it,
of turning the page, of marking their progress in a story.
And then you have, of all things, the smell of a book.
Fresh ink on paper or the aging paper smell.
You don't really get that from anything else.
The book itself, you know, can't be turned off with a switch.
It's a story that you can hold in your hand
and carry around with you
and that's part of what makes them so valuable,
and I think will make them valuable for the duration.
A shelf of books, frankly,
is made to outlast you, (Laughs)
no matter who you are.


Why books are here to stay | Small Thing Big Idea, a TED series

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crystallmk 2020 年 2 月 19 日 に公開
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