reply to post by MarksThoughts
Good points. However, the democratization of information would be for digital bits only. The beauty of real books lies in their very physical
properties. Some here have mentioned the smell of books. Others like the rustling made by turning the paper pages. I like typography, the way words
are designed to fall on a page, how the initial capital in a chapter can be ten times larger than the others, and nestled into the first paragraph.
I like graphic design. I like illustrations that you can study in detail. I like how real books are *coherent* in their form, functionality, and
Digitization of texts is inevitable, of course, but my point is that our culture itself is dependent upon unified bodies of work. A Nook book jsut
doesn't give the whole picture . . . it gives only a tiny digital bit at one time. I actually really dislike reading things on the Nook, and now use
it only for a book that I would have no intention of keeping. So, digital ereaders to me are much like reading on the internet . . . fleeting,
ephemeral, and messy. The books in my home are rock solid and they are permanent, home to stay, part of my life, real cultural tangibles that have
formed who I am.
I feel badly for kids who are NOT checking out real books, and enjoying the complete coherence and unified presentation that a physical book gives.
Books are cultural entities that when consumed expand the mind of the reader.
Digital archives are fine in theory, and probably highly functional. But no one really likes to read digital text for very long. It's hard the eyes.
And if kids don't learn to read full-length books (because they read everything digitally) then we will have generation after generation of
progressively more coarse, illiterate, and passive people. They have not bothered to expose their minds to the rich complexities of long books of
imagination, thus, they will lack imagination, clarity of reasoning, and the ability to see larger pictures, or a kind of thinking in landscape, as
novels, for example, teach. The really troubling thing about the situation with ebooks is that I fear we are losing a generation of younger people who
simply cannot be bothered to consume an entire book digitally when they can game, chat, text, email, post on Facebook, etc., etc. Why read a whole
book? There's a world of fun online . . . thus, I think the real tragedy is in decreasing literacy, and especially, the decline of even basic writing
edit on 15-4-2012 by Thaxter because: Corrected grammar.