Notes of a Binge Thinker

Thoughts from NTLP's Executive Director

The Future of Reading (and Happy Holidays!)

As many of you know, I am currently working on my next column, which will highlight the role of the book in the library in the next decade.  As part of my research, I brought up the theme with my family over the weekend.  Everyone confirmed what I already knew, that they all still love the book.  After thinking about it for a while, I then asked them the following question.  If books disappeared tomorrow, would you still read.  All of them said yes. For them, it was the love of reading more than the love of the book that drove them to read. I couldn’t agree more.

This afternoon, I read the following in this article about the future of reading.

“There is no humanity reading a book on a computer,” wrote an anonymous commenter on the popular site ParentDish .com. “You have lost the interaction with the page. How sorry I am for all of you who will never know the pleasure of turning the pages of a book.”

Really!!??? Are we so in love with books that we do not see the humanity of the written word no matter what form it takes?  What do you think?  Can we have a positive reading experience without it being in the form of a book?

I also wanted to take a quick moment to wish everyone a Happy and Safe Holiday.    See everyone next year. :>


Written by amwlkaw

December 22, 2009 at 2:40 pm

Posted in Misc

2 Responses

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  1. Role of the book is always will be important. May be the shape and the form will change but not the insides. Though there are things about digital tech that make you think that the science fiction of Ray Braburrey will be reality so soon . I hope Mr journalist read this novel. What will happen if all digital technology will fail one day ? We’ ve already had some issues with internet and if everything will be online what we will do if we are offline . Quote from wickipediA ” Novel presents a future American society in which the masses are hedonistic and critical thought through reading is outlawed. The central character, Guy Montag, is employed as a “fireman” (which, in this future, means “bookburner”). The number “451” refers to the temperature at which book paper auto-ignites. Although sources contemporary with the novel’s writing gave the temperature as 450 °C (842 °F), Bradbury apparently thought “Fahrenheit” made for a better title.[1][2] The “firemen” burn them “for the good of humanity”. Written in the early years of the Cold War, the novel is a critique of what Bradbury saw as issues in American society of the era.[His original intention in writing Fahrenheit 451 was to show his great love for books and libraries. Bradbury has stated that the novel is not about censorship, but is a story of how television destroys interest in reading literature, leading to a replacement of knowledge with “factoids”, partial information devoid of context, such as Napoleon’s birth date with no explanation of who he was.[7][8]”
    Another side of the problem is would be digital technology wide spread for everybody and if everybody would have ability to access it. As I know not every our patron has internet access or computer at home. Other words will be these people limited only to library hours ? If we really want to have everything digital then society should be ready economically and “fully trained”. No I am not against the modern technology beeing in the library but let people have a choise a cd book or digital or paper . I know many of them would say they would prefer paper because you can relax in the comfy recliner under soft light of the lamp and read and by the way it is easy on your eyes too. There is interesting info here


    December 30, 2009 at 7:01 pm

  2. As much as I love the tactile experience of reading a book and will always prefer that to any electronic format, obviously, I will continue to read in any way it is available to me.
    One advantage to digital for our transient society is the elimination of a multitude of heavy boxes when moving! Personally, that is the reason my library has been radically scaled down over the years. Even my elderly parents have joined the Kindle bandwagon before me! Shocking, I know!
    The other day I heard an ad for Half-Price Book Store that strives to keep people emotionally connected to physical books probably targeting Baby Boomers. In many ways, I agree with them and can still spend hours lost in a bookstore. I’ve also been known to curl up with my Bible and fall asleep.
    But, no matter the format, those who have a love for reading and research will carry on.


    January 5, 2010 at 11:34 am

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