A library allows people to freely use books, however, you cannot write in them as they are a fixed piece of literature and not owned by the individual reading it. Photo by Susan Q Yin on Unsplash

Fixed Media

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Computer vs Book “Print”

In J.D Applen’s “New Media and Literacy” from “Old Media, New Media, and Knowledge,” he goes over the idea of fixed media. The author goes over this idea by referencing Richard Lanham, who compares print on the computer and print from books. He expresses that computers use writing and graphics which allow the reader to interact. Similar to how oral discourse was used in the past. For example, blog posts, articles, or social media posts have a comment section. This allows people to “speak” and discuss what they see online. Lanham says the computer form of print is “unfixed and interactive.”

On the other hand, Lanham says that print in books has “…no type changes; no interaction; no revision.” For example, if you own a hard copy of a book, nothing can be altered without ruining the pages. In order to “interact,” one cannot use a pen or pencil to do so. Book clubs use oral discourse to interact and make comments about the books they collectively read. Only online blog posts or articles regarding a book can allow for a direct fixed and interactive view. Another example can be when one borrows a book from the library, nothing can be changed in the book. Not only is it an unfixed media, but writing in the book would damage the pages. What is written in the book is what the author directly writes leaving the reader unable to “interact” without using alternative means to do so.

A library allows people to freely use books, however, you cannot write in them as they are a fixed piece of literature and not owned by the individual reading it. Photo by Susan Q Yin on Unsplash

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