The Tragedy of the Virtual Bookshelf

David Churbuck has found that which we are losing in this digital age.  It reminds me of the discussion I had with my 9 year old yesterday when she asked me if I’d read every book in my library.  

I like the Kindle. Indeed I love it. But I can’t indulge my penchant for giving away books thanks to this selfish device. I can tell people to read “Moneyball” but I can’t back that up by emphasizing my desire to share that experience by giving them my copy. The Kindle, ultimately, is a selfish device that cannot be loaned. Last week, while driving my son home from college, I sang the praises of “Shadow Country,” this year’s National Book Award in fiction. But I can’t lend it to him and indeed, tragically, I don’t have a physical copy to park on my favorite shelf next to the previous three books in the Watson series.

Indeed I suspect in some ways we may end up as a “Lost Generation” having committed so much to digital formats that most likely will be arcane and unreadable 50 or a 100 years in the future.  And in the here and now, the ‘community of the book’ is dying.  

For now, I continue to buy my books in print.  The problem is in this new economy, I have precious little time to read.  

Read David’s full post…really

3 Replies to “The Tragedy of the Virtual Bookshelf”

  1. I can’t stop reading print books either. There’s something about holding the physical book in my hands that really appeals to me.

    I think the point of a library is to mostly contain books that you haven’t read 🙂

  2. I like audiobooks myself. I’ve been listening to the Harry Potter books in the car with the kids and they actually like it!
    Although I’ve got to say I’ve loved reading books on my Centro and Treo’s before that. And I love the scrolling option, something none of the current e-readers can do because of the screen technology.

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