For many people, as a number of studies show, reading is a genuinely tactile experience—how a book feels and looks has a material impact on how we feel about reading. This isn’t necessarily Luddism or nostalgia. The truth is that the book is an exceptionally good piece of technology—easy to read, portable, durable, and inexpensive. Unlike the phase-change move toward digital that we saw in music, the transition to e-books is going to be slow; coexistence is more likely than conquest. The book isn’t obsolete.
James Surowiecki, “E-Book vs. P-Book”, The New Yorker (29 July 2013), 23.
This interpenetration of Jewish books and those of other cultures is emblematic of the modern Jewish integration into modern cultural and political mainstreams. With this integration has come increased regulation of published materials, in the form of state censorship and legislation governing copyright, plagiarism, obscenity, libel, and the like. These laws both restrict and protect the possibilities of Jewish books while situating them within national systems of authorship and publication. Conversely, Jewish books sometimes figure as potent symbols of Jewish ideas or of Jews themselves in modern political actions, notably in book bans and, during the Nazi era, book burnings that deliberately echoed medieval practice.
Jeffrey Shandler, “The Jewish Book and Beyond in Modern Times,” AJS Review 34, No. 2 (November 2010), 379.