I would love to be a librarian, but because the way technology is going and how quickly books are evolving to be technology based, this career pursuit doesn’t seem to be a realistic goal, as I am more interested in hard copy books, rather than technology.
It would be sad to see all libraries convert to being technology based like this library in Texas. http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424127887324761004578286253988145208
The electronic era we are living in brings up the debate between e-readers and hard copy books.
Some benefits to an e-reader would be that an e-reader:
Is small and light weight
Can store multiple books
Is easy to travel with
Font size can be changed for those who need larger fonts
Some e-readers come with a backlight, this makes reading easier at night or in dimly lit areas
As appealing as some of these benefits can be, I know that I will never use an e-reader as long as hard copies of books are available. To me, reading a hard copy of a book is an experience in itself made possible by a 3D copy of a book.
I love going to the book store and being able to hold a book in my hands. I love the physical action of turning a page and seeing the progress through a book by pages turned. I appreciate cover art and the work that goes into making a book beautiful beyond it’s words. I feel a sense of accomplishment and pride in owning books and being able to see them on my bookshelf. To me there are experiences and senses acquired from reading a hard copy book that can’t be captured in an electronic copy.
Smell: The contrasting smell of old and new, a brand new book, versus an old book. The smells that bring memories of a book store, or a book from childhood.
Hearing: The words of a book flow through your head as you read. Hearing the pages turn and rustle in the wind. Hearing the characters dialouge in your head and imagining the sounds of their voices.
Touch: Running your hand along the books as you walk through a library or bookstore. Holding a brand new book in your hands. Feeling a book be opened for the first time. Touching the pages of a book and the feeling of turning a page over, or flipping back through the pages you’ve already turned. The contrast in feel of a paperback, or a hard cover book.
Sight: Seeing the beautiful spines of the books displayed on your book shelf. Appreciating the cover artwork. Seeing the books all organized and displayed in a book store. Seeing your progress through a book as pages are turned.
Taste: In an indirect sense, as you devour book after book. As you absorb and take in the words you are reading, and the stories they are telling.
I don’t believe reading should be just to absorb the words that are written, as so it feels when reading an electronic copy. Reading is an experience created by researching a book, going shopping for the book, or hunting down a used copy, it’s holding the book while reading and turning the pages, and it’s displaying the book on a shelf for others and your self to see and admire. It’s the feel of a soft or hard cover, the distinct smell of an old book or a new book, it’s the vibrant colours, or technical design of the cover, and the feel of the paper pages. There are too many senses missed out on by reading an electronic copy of a book that it takes away so much that books have to offer. Readers know and experience these senses first hand and it’s because nothing else offers the same experience that a hard cop book offers that there will be hard copy book lovers for the rest of time.
I can’t see a life for me without books, and I hope no future generation has to live without hard copy books. The world just wouldn’t be the same! Technology expires, and becomes outdated, but books age gracefully and will last forever.