The words “curling up with a good book” evoke cozy thoughts of finding a quiet corner of the house, the company of interesting characters weaving a story of intrigue, romance, or struggle, a crackling fire, and a cup of tea by your side. Or a vodka tonic. Your choice.
“Curling up with an electronic device” doesn’t have the same power of imagery.
When Amazon announced the introduction of the Kindle and promised it would change with way we read books forever, I scoffed.
Yeah, right. Books a thing of the past? Never.
How could an eBook, made of plastic, glass, and radioactive electrodes, replace the feel, smell, and magic of the printed word? There is something comforting in the heft of a book in your hands. Or the knowledge that the dog-eared copy of your favorite book is on your nightstand to soothe you back to sleep in the middle of the night should a bad dream trouble your slumbers.
Well, I was wrong-o about my opinion of eBooks and their power to change our relationship with books. I own a Kindle Fire and love everything about it. I scoff no more.
Being the great and powerful oracle that I am, I also pooh-poohed the Internet the first time I used our painfully slow dial-up modem. As the prophet of all things technological, I said, “This will never catch on.”
Make note: Don’t listen to any of my predictions.
Now, eBooks are revolutionizing our beloved libraries as well. San Antonio, Texas is home to the first 100% bookless public library. By bookless, I mean nary a printed book to be found.
According to an article by the Associated Press, “Texas has seen the future of the public library, and it looks a lot like an Apple Store: Rows of glossy iMacs beckon. iPads mounted on a tangerine-colored bar invite readers. And hundreds of other tablets stand ready for check-out to anyone with a borrowing card.” Even the librarians are dressed in “that standard-bearer of geek-chic, the hoodie.”
I thought the hoodie was the signature style of Treyvon Martin, not techno-geeks. But I digress.
Back to the issue at hand . . . think the idea of all-digital libraries is pretty darn coolio. However, I have one caveat. Let’s not scrub real-book libraries. They are wondrous places that offer non-narcotic mind-blowing trips to magical places via storytelling on the printed page. Plus, Marion, Madame Librarian, doesn’t look good in a hoodie.
This post is for you, Audra!