On Friday May 31st, Matthew Haley will be among speakers at the Hay-on-Wye Literary Festival in Wales. He will discuss two aspects of how technology has changed the world of rare books. Within the last fifteen years, book-search web sites like Abebooks and online auctions catalogues have proved a game-changer for this previously localised and often sleepy market. More recently, the printed word appears to have been marginalised by the pixel: digitised library books, ebooks, Kindles and other e-readers seem to dominate the book world. Delving further, it has become apparent that Generation iPad is increasingly keen on antique technology. Vinyl, Polaroid, the steampunk movement and letterpress stationery suggest that the sensuality of pre-digital media still holds an allure, and that the more we read on-screen the more we cherish the feel of a book in our hands.
The Hay Festival was founded around a kitchen table in 1987 and celebrates great writing from poets and scientists, lyricists and comedians, novelists and environmentalists, as well as the power of great ideas to transform our way of thinking. For 25 years Hay Festival has brought together writers from around the world to debate and share stories at its festival in the staggering beauty of the Welsh Borders. Its principle belief is in the exchange of views and meeting of minds that the festivals create inspire revelations personal, political and educational. Hay is, in Bill Clinton's phrase, 'The Woodstock of the mind'.
The talk will take place at 4pm on the Landmarc 100 stage, and will be followed by a Q + A session.