21 June 2011

What if books were just invented?

College of Charleston, Charleston, S.C.

I got a kick out of this entry from J-Walk Blog titled, What if Books were just Invented:

In this dimension, humans have had e-books for thousands of years. That's how we read. Then, all of a sudden, somebody invents an actual physical book. What would people be saying?
Do you mean you have to find a place in your house to store them all? We just don't have the space.
Yuk! Mice will be eating them!
It takes two hands to hold one. How can you read while you eat?
So when you're finished reading it, you can sell it to someone? Publishers won't like that idea!
How do they know how many to make? It's like they'd need to be psychic or something.
It just seems so… primitive!
You're saying that I have to carry around my entire library? No thanks.
They cut down trees for these things? Why?
You have to drive to a store to buy one of these? What if I want to read it right now?
I don't see any way to copy and paste.

Don't you wonder if books will gradually disappear and seem like novelties? I haven't gone kindle yet but then I'm not the bookwork I used to be.


Lisa Renée said...

Wonderful post...and, I ponder this also. And, then it makes me sad. Some of my books have been toted around for years from house to house and I won't ever want to part with them. Reading an ebook or a magazine online will never replace the real thing!

Lowandslow said...

I'm afraid books will soon be joining dinosaurs. Borders is in bankruptcy and Barnes and Noble is losing money on their book operations, while Amazon is blistering hot. See the future.

When we sold our house and downsized 2 years ago I got rid of my 400-500 volume library and haven't missed it at all. I kept a few signed/special books, but things are just so much less cluttered now, and I am really into keeping things simple. I still buy several UK published magazines each month because of their color photos, but someday will probably go electronic on those, too. (Until now e-readers have been B&W only, but the Nook is now in color, and I suspect the next Kindle will be also.) For once I guess I'm ahead of the technology curve. :)


Marcheline said...

I think book STORES will be going the way of the world well before actual books do. Amazon is doing hot busines... selling books! I always buy my mom books (real ones) from Amazon, but rarely get in the car and drive ten minutes, using up expensive gas, to buy a book at a higher price from Borders.

I just hope libraries don't disappear. Where would all the homeless people hang out in the winter time?

Lowandslow said...

Some Amazon bok stats:

NEW YORK -- Amazon.com Inc. on Thursday said that, after less than four years of selling electronic books, it's now selling more of them than printed books.

The online retailer said that since April 1, it has sold 105 e-books for every 100 printed books, including printed books for which there is no electronic edition. The comparison excludes free e-books, which would tip the scales further if they were included.

Printed books include both hardcover and paperback books. Amazon said in July that e-book sales had outstripped hardcover sales. It's now selling three times as many e-books as it did a year ago.

Analysts estimate that Amazon accounts for about two-thirds of U.S. e-book sales.

Amazon also said the latest and cheapest version of its Kindle e-book reading device is the best-seller of the line, five weeks after it was introduced. The Kindle with Special Offers costs $114, and shows ads in standby mode.

chuckography said...

I joined paperbackswap.com club a few years ago. (It also includes hardcovers and even the likewise endangered DVDs).

From my library of books I'd all ready read I have sent out 75 books to fellow members and earn one point for each.

So far I have enjoyed 65 new books to read (and a few DVDs)so until the 8 that are in a stack right now are read, no Kindle for me.

Still a bookworm.

Cindy Hunter Morgan said...

OR... alternatively:

You mean, I get to keep this? To have and to hold?

Wait...there's no battery to worry about...no power cord?

I could MAIL this to someone....and get it back someday?!

Someone MADE this..with their hands? And their heart?

What's a letterpress?

I'm still a book lover! But my mom has a Kindle and she loves it. She has Parkinson's, and the kindle is much easier for her to hold.

Cindy Hunter Morgan said...

p.s. I really enjoy your blog!

Charlestonjoan said...

I've been in meetings all day. Nice to come home to good comments. Thank y'all! Thanks Cindy - love your blog as well.

It does seem like everyone who starts using a Kindle type reader loves it. Not sure I am ready yet. I haven't gone in a library in years - used to live in them. It's kinds sad, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

Speaking as a librarian, we're still here, busier than ever teaching people computer skills, playing matchmaker between people and books, checking out movies, and generally being the community feel-good gathering place. We still have summer reading programs for kids (108 kids and 49 adults today) and have even gone back to summer reading programs for adults too! Come on down and exercise your tax dollars!

Charlestonjoan said...

Glad to hear it Anon! I used to love libraries. When they had their brain storming for the future meetings here I suggested putting in a coffee shop.

Marcheline said...

I was sort of kidding, but sort of not about the homeless people issue with libraries. I live in a lower-middle income town, and there are a couple of group homes in the area that turn out their residents during the daytime.

Often, the homeless/variously challenged folks gather in the library (especially during winter months). This presents a variety of interesting problems (there's one man that goes around taking movies and books off the shelves and piling them by the hundreds on tables, then he wanders off), but for the most part security has been able to keep the peace between regular library patrons and those seeking shelter.

In a more affluent town, I think a coffee shop would be a fantastic addition to the library... but in my town, I think it would just end up being a parking zone for the group home people.