There can be no doubt that in the digital age the significance of the books’ contents will more than ever live up to Obvious’ claim that they will become once again become “equivalent with the contents of consciousness.” But to what extent this exalted status will be passed on to the actual printed book remains to be seen.
The silence and privacy of the reading experience afforded by books mimick[ing] the silent privacy of individual consciousness - David Lodge
"all the world’s books gathered in the digital domain will take up no more than 26 terabyes of disc space"
I interviewed Brewster Kahle who runs the Internet Archive, which he envisions as the digital equivalent of the fabled library of Alexandria (...) According to Kahle there are roughly 26 million books in the library of congress, the largest print library in the world. This may seem like a lot of books, but in the digital age it doesn’t represent that many data. On the web, for example, an equivalent amount of information as is printed in that amount of books is posted online every two months.
When you consider that at the moment it takes one person a year to scan 3000 books, it means that all 26 million titles can be scanned by the population of Detroit in the course of one long weekend. In terms of computer storage the entire content of a book on average takes up only one megabyte. Twenty six million megabytes translates into 26 terabytes, which can be stored in a box that comfortably fits on one small shelf.