Transbook: The Book That Contains All Books

Amazon Kindle is the early prototype of the mythical "transbook".

From WSJ:

So far the new technology has been called the "e-reader," a term obviously picked by engineers, not poets. In literary terms it's a transbook, by which I mean that it is the book which can contain all books. A book is a singular object that can contain many voices, but the transbook has the potential to be a singular object containing all voices. It is not just another kind of media; it is the dream of ultimate text.

We are still in early days, but it is obvious where the transbook is headed: It will eventually provide access to all text that is non-copyright, and to the purchase of every book in or out of "print." Kindle 2's boast of being able to hold 1,500 titles will eventually sound as ludicrous as those early ads for floppy disks boasting that they could hold up to 64k of data. We will want everything and we will get it. Possibly there will eventually develop a subscription service, which provides access to all books for a monthly fee. At any rate, a single object will contain the contents of all the world's libraries.

The Book That Contains All Books. WSJ, 2009.
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