Sanctuary amid the stacks

In the long term, does it really matter if books are a thing of the past? So long as the book-length texts that used to appear within printed covers are still available in some form, so long as we can still summon the attention to follow many-chambered sentences and access the privacy and reflectiveness of a Thoreau, the intricate feelings and psychological acuity of a Proust, it hardly matters what kind of medium is bringing us our words.

Comments

Apart from the fact that the medium is restricted to people who have the means and ability to access electronic books. Print is open to everyone whatever their circumstances.

I know thats not the point of the LA Times story but it still needs saying.

This country's 19th century public library movement was predicated on the principle that knowledge and literature should not be limited only to those who could afford to purchase their own books. I seriously doubt that ten or 15 years from now everyone will have equal access to whatever form of e-reader is widely in use then or be able to afford to purchase/lease (whatever) any title they want. So...perhaps we'll need some sort of institution to make e-books available to all who don't have the means to purchase and use e-content. Maybe an institution like, say, a LIBRARY?

Actually, print isn't open to everyone. It's open to only the literate, and those that have the means (money, or ability to get to a place where the book is). There is no one format that is actually open to everyone, so what we need, and will always need, is a variety of formats.

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