Saturday, March 20, 2004

Richard Rogers + Architects

Today I have taken my time to scan a book from the Architecture School Library. Richard Rogers + Architects, it's a great Architectural Monograph Published in the US and the UK in 1985 that collects the works of architect Richard Rogers and his partners, from early projects to the mid eighties. The book was in a terrible condition when I  borrowed it, so after scanning it, I fixed it, and re-bind it as best as I could with a lot of care and a bit of glue.

The scanning process is so slow that made me think a lot in the meantime. There are certain problems related to the psychical books. For example, if a teacher recommends a book in class and it's available in the book stores, the main problem is usually only the price, specially with architecture books, that tend to be fancy and expensive. The real problem arises, however, when the book is sold out or hard to find. Then, the only way to go is the school library. But every time a teacher recommends a book, it literally  flies from the shelves, and as we are so many students, it's common not to be able to even have a glance at it before the semester ends.

I also wonder, what happens when a library book gets worn so much that gets destroyed, and it's not useable anymore. Or when unscrupulous people cut the pages or the pictures they are interested in, (Sadly that happens too). What if the library is not able to re-buy it because it's sold out? Something pretty common in architectural publications, that many times are periodicals with no big printing numbers. So, libraries are expending their money on a bunch of bind paper that sooner or later is going to be consumed and become unusable. Is that it?

I understand the advantages of physical books, it's always great to have them on your hand and feel them, to be able to read them everywhere, anytime... but what about when you have to carry a bunch of them in your backpack day in and day out, or when you need a picture from them, or a piece of text and you have to either scan it or re-write it. In my opinion, digital is going to be the way to go, without a doubt.

I'm sure physical books will remain with us forever, but more as a great analogue precious objects than anything else. As a luxury that give us joy and holds a backup of our information. Meanwhile, the digital editions will be available for download in a few seconds by anyone, everywhere, anytime. I believe the future its promising, both for classic book lovers and for the people that need the information within them in a  fast, reliable and comfortable way.


Richard Roger + Architects

Architectural Monographs
Published in Great Britain in 1985 by Academy editions
Published in the USA in 1985 by St Martin's Press
ISBN-10: 0312682077
ISBN-13: 978-0312682071

Availabe on Amazon Marketplace: US / ESJP