After writing yesterday (in The Economics of Shelfies) about the complementarity between e-books and physical books, and arguing that in general different vehicles for ideas are complements rather than substitutes, I happened to read this last night in Tom Standage’s . It’s about the circulation of handwritten poetry among groups of friends and family members in Tudor times:
“The printing press was now a century old, but rather than making obsolete the copying and sharing of documents in manuscript form, print actually increased the importance and prevalence of handwritten text. Printing pushed up demand for paper throughout Europe, encouraging production and making it cheaper (its price fell by 40% during the 15th century) and more widely available.”
The passage goes on to explain the fashion for creating ‘miscellanies’ or commonplace books, large handwritten notebooks, sometimes shared.
[amazon_image id=”1408842068″ link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]Writing on the Wall: Social Media – The First 2,000 Years[/amazon_image]
I’m about half way through the book and will review it later this week.