Sunday, March 31, 2013

Will Libraries End up as Museums?

reading, writing, and arithmatic

Are books becoming obsolete? Is a library the only place we’ll be able to see these odd antiquities? Will librarians admonish us “don’t touch,” instead of shushing chatterboxes? Are we entering a binary world where everything is decomposed into a series of ones and zeros to be instantly reassembled on a hand-held device?

reading and writing
My Dream Library - A Great Place to Read

Libraries may one day become faux ambiance designed for reading books on an electronic device. I've had a library built in my last three homes. Now, I’m moving once again and my biggest task is going through thousands of books to decide which ones I really want to keep. I'll build a formal library in my new house, but it will certainly not be as large as my current one.

I've had friends tell me they prefer a real book because they like the scent and feel and the genuine article. Then someone gives them an e-reader. Soon, they discover that the medium doesn't matter; they still get lost in the words. By the third novel, they’re converts.

There might be some truth in the demise of the book … at least as a commodity. But it will not happen as quickly as pundits predict and some form of books will always be with us. 

Books started as art, and I suspect they will return to art. Nobody will miss the mass paperback, or even cheaply printed and bound hardcovers. Books will once again become beautiful … but I still won’t need a big library because they’ll also become much more expensive.

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