Library Club


Books? Why should I want books- I have the Internet.

Books? Why should I want books- I have the Internet.

 

Yesterday I at last acquired a long-coveted Library Card.

Regrettably this has been a task on my to do list for more than six months now. I really have no excuse for not making it happen sooner except just never getting around to it. The library here in town is only about 100 yards outside of my normal circuit of  errands which puts it close enough to make me feel silly for not going there sooner and far enough that I just never saw it while I was out an about to remind myself to go there.

It is a pleasant library with a reasonably extensive collection although a cursory search of their catalogue failed to bring up several titles that I knew off the top of my head that I wanted to read such as “Those Across The River” by Christopher Buehlman and “The Introvert’s Advantage” which someone recommended in a comment on one of my earlier posts and I have been meaning to look up for some time. I feel certain that both books could be acquired through inter-library loan, however inter-library loans now cost $2 per request.

A sign, perhaps, of the times.

In this modern era of Kindles and Nooks I have to wonder what the future will hold for libraries. Certainly there will always be purists like myself who find it very off-putting to read from a screen instead of a page. Book-reading is a tactile experience for me that has as much to do with the sound, smell, weight and texture of the paper as it does with the words on the page.

Almost as certainly there will come a day when purists such as myself find ourselves walking over the same ground again and again when physical books simply go out of production and all the new and interesting work is strictly digital. The cost of production will simply be too expensive and the environmental impact of producing paper books will be scrutinized until it falls out of favor.

Perhaps then books will enjoy a new life as objets d’art. Perhaps custom printing will be made available on-demand so that any digital content can be printed and bound and the resulting books will be treasured for their physical form. Perhaps this would be our new definition of a classic book: a story so compelling that people would want to keep it in physical form.

Perhaps that is the essence of a book: story in physical form.

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~ by Gwydhar Gebien on April 30, 2013.

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