In case you had better things to do last Friday, here are excerpts of some of the book panels that took place that day, starting with a title that spells doom (the equivalent to "The ends is nigh" ;)
"What do we give up by reading an e-book?":
"...while e-readers (and e-book files) are more compact and portable than the traditional print book, we sacrifice the literal searchability of paper books. While paper books encourage us to read non-linearly, with a personal connection to the text, and to continue “reading” long after we’ve put down a book; e-readers and e-books may signal a different type of reading — something impermanent (more throwaway), less personal, more distracted, and ultimately less meditative."
And "The psychology of reading":
"The panelists in this session shared their findings on the psychology behind the act of reading. Their study is based on the definition of stories as model worlds that allow the reader to be both themselves and someone else at once. They compared the experiences of reading Chekov in his original form and re-written in plain language to find out whether content or literary quality causes both social- and self-transformation.
The panel worked at pinpointing why literary quality (and not content) makes the mind more malleable, leading to transformations in personality and emotion. This quality is elusive, of course. To bring it all back to technology, the panel ended by posing the question: “How are new technologies changing they way we experience self-transformation through narrative?"