...to dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free....

24 August, 2011

"e" as in "book"??

A question posed today at my library's FB page:
 "Electronic or paper - what is the future of the book? What are your preferences? Why?"

~ ** ~

My answer:
"I don't have an e-book player, but I have to admit being captivated 
by the simplicity of form and access of a recent guest's player.
 I borrowed one from a friend for a week's trip one time 
and liked the travel benefits of a single item.

But I've spent the last two thirds of a century with bound books,
 and I  love their heft, and the feel of the pages, 
and the idea that this particular magic carpet 
has, and will, transport others before and after my ride.

Fears: what will happen to the publishing industry, 
the sacred places that libraries are, 
and the opportunity for community that book stores and libraries provide,
 should all our written material be accessed electronically? 
And will the poor and disenfranchised be further "locked out" 
of the means to knowledge and inspiration?

And what about the babies?
My children and grandchildren have been connected to "the book"
 way before they were of the age to handle electronics. 
Books in the play space, the crib, the carseat.--an extension of their very selves. 
Will there be a time when these aren't made anymore? 
I also am not convinced that anyone, particularly children, 
should be exposed to a screen for the amount of time 
that some folks enjoy having their noses in books.

I guess you can see my ambivalence.
 I would feel a lot better if there would be a guarrantee
 that books as we know them 
could continue to coexist with e-books."

** ~ **

How would you answer this question?


  1. I am a purist when it comes to books. E-books are fun and cool, but give me a paper bound book any day. It just feels right.

  2. so true - especially for babies, toddlers and youngsters just learning how to open their minds by feeling with their fingers.

  3. I hope that the two can coexist.

    I am a book lover from the first moments, more than 60 years ago, that my Greek grandmother told me stories, book in hand, upon her lap. She had me captivated, I am told, and gave me a lifelong love of the printed word. Oh, by-the-way, she, herself, couldn't read. I LOVE BOOKS.

    On-the-other-hand, if I were doing a lot of traveling, I can see the benefits of an e-reader and last week, in an attempt to locate a book I wanted to read and finding it on long holds at all the libraries in our rather vast library system, I could see the lure of a click and there it is on your little hand held screen.

    I can see the application of ereaders in education. With textbooks at school and an ereader at home, no excuses for not getting homework done or carrying those huge backpacks home for little Johnny or Sue.

    I think all libraries are struggling with this question. Me? I have three bookbags filled with books from three separate libraries (and then there is my pile of 40% off from Borders).

  4. Hi ...I believe it is a sad thing thinking that this could be a thing of the past!!
    It has the potential to affect so many people right done to the writers and publishers, jobs etc.
    Maybe it's my age and what I grew up with..Dick and Jane.....see Dick. See Jane. She Dick and Jane run!! : {

  5. I LOVE books and LOVE my library. No love for e-books, but I do see a use for them and appreciate the convenience (although not for me, yet). If real books and libraries disappear, I hope it is after I am long gone!!

  6. I LOVE my books. I love the bookshelves lined with my favorite reads, I like turning pages, I like smelling the pages, I LOVE holding my kids (I guess now they're too big...but we all pile up on the couch to read together) and reading out loud while turning pages....
    OH! Sometimes technology and modern-day stuff just needs to go away:(

  7. I think your images say it best, especially the last one! ~Lili

  8. I love your word 'heft' for books! -it's perfect - the lift, the feel, the weight and texture, as well as smell. Someone lent me an e-reader recently, & while I found it convenient, I missed the sensuousness of a book, including being able to see how much I'd read, & how far it was to the end.
    Love your pictures,

  9. I like books, but I liked typewriters too. I think books will become obsolete as young people become more and more playful about the way they “write.” Already young journalists are trained in multi-media. They tell stories in words, photographs, slide shows and short movies. I think “books” of the future will do this too. Although I am a words only person, these changes are okay with me. I just feel a little archaic and old. I sometimes consider buying an e-reader because I could easily bump up the type for my aging eyes.