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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Disappearance of Books? by Summer

Recently a library patron asked me if I thought there would ever be a time when we no longer used books. Ten years ago, that question might have made me laugh. The idea of a bookless society was unfathomable. Now the idea of a bookless world seems at the very least plausible, if not a bit extreme as e-readers are beginning to change the way we read.

For their purpose, e-readers are great. Storing all my books digitally means I have the ability to carry my entire library in one small lightweight bundle that fits in my purse. This is extremely handy when traveling and would have been a godsend in college when I moved almost every year. Plus, most e-readers offer the ability to access your library from multiple devices, so even if I lost or damaged my e-reader I would not lose my entire library. For these two reasons alone, I think e-readers are definitely worth considering, but one more advantage tipped the scales to make me love e-readers. I can now access the Stillwater Public Library’s collection of e-books and downloadable audio books for free! Visit the library to find out how you can too!

Despite my excitement over e-readers, I still think books are here to stay. There are some pleasures of a physical book that an e-reader simply cannot replicate. I cannot feel the texture of an e-page on my fingertips, nor savor a new e-book smell, nor delight that my e-book has been personally autographed by the author. For the books I truly love, I will keep a paper edition around, but when it comes to trying new authors or reading popular titles, I am definitely going digital.

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