So I know there’s been some debate on the internet among word nerds about the decision to own and embrace a Kindle. I know this post may make it seem like I’m picking a side, what with all the library porn and all, but it’s not the case. And not just because I don’t have the funding to buy one right now.
See, I don’t think Kindles are going to kill books. We now know that they won’t kill the publishing industry, but people are worried now about the fate of actual books. I think books will continue to be printed, although on a less of a massive scale. Books may return to their former position in society, although hopefully with a less elitist bent. The mass production of books (paperbacks and the like) is a relatively new phenomenon. Throughout history, books were special, not just because only a select few could read them, but because of the labor-intensive craftmanship that went into making each one. Maybe in the near future there will simply be fewer books made and printed, and those will be treasured hardcovers instead of little broken-spine paperbacks. (Don’t worry, I own and love more than a few of those.)
The fact remains that independent of books or reading, people love libraries. I don’t mean the school library where you had to learn how to use the card catalog (woooo Olds!) and spend hours looking things up, although those who really love research may enjoy them. I mean the more leisurely libraries that are associated with reading for pleasure. In people’s homes. In museums. They are quiet, thoughtful places where you can make a peaceful retreat. Whether or not you feel like reading anything, the possibility of all those books, all that information, or the adventure inside each one is both comforting and inspiring. I don’t think something like that could ever be threatened by e-readers. I think, somehow, they will be able to coexist.
Sorry. Too much for a Friday morning? Without further ado, some simply lovely libraries.