Monday, June 09, 2003

Reading:: The Myth of the Paperless Office

Originally posted: Mon, 09 Jun 2003 10:24:15

The Myth of the Paperless Office
by Abigail J. Sellen (Author), Richard H. R. Harper (Author)

The Myth of the Paperless Office should be an interesting, exciting book, especially for folks like myself who are interested in workplace communication, writing, unofficial texts, and technology. It discusses how paper has been thoroughly integrated into modern workplaces; takes steps toward designing round paper; and offers lots of case studies.

But I found myself skimming through the book. I read through it very quickly, over two evenings, not because I found it to be terribly interesting but because I skimmed so much. Although important work is done in the book, and I'm positive I'll be citing it, there are not many surprises. Does anyone who has studied workplace writing find it to be surprising that workers juxtapose documents, annotate while they're reading, and use paper documents spatially? Similarly, Sellen and Harper's endless taxonomies are useful but wear quickly on me.

(Maybe it was a mistake to read this book right after Latour.)

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