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