Thursday, September 9, 2010

I'm afraid books may be an endangered species.

One of my dear friends, Dale Graumann, is a published author and has been sharing her latest novel in serial form on her blog. Today's post began the last chapter of Winter Wheat. I'm devastated. (Although she has promised a sequel, it isn't written yet so there will be a bit of a wait to see what comes of the characters I've come to love.) If you'd like to read Winter Wheat, you can find it on her blog at Erndales N More. You can purchase Dale's first novel, A Stroke of Love, on Amazon.
I love to read and when I find an author that does multiple stories featuring the same characters, I become obsessed in my efforts to read all of the tales. Actually, I read anything and everything. When nothing else is around, I'll read the label on the mustard jar or whatever else may be sitting on the table in front of me.

When we travel, I can't wait to pick up a local paper in some strange town, no matter how big or small, and I then peruse it from cover-to-cover. My husband, on the other hand, reads when necessary to glean information he needs. I think in our 25 years together, he's read less than 10 fictional books. He has probably read more news stories online than in the newspapers in the last decade although I wouldn't say he does so regularly.

I'm as happy in a book store (especially a used bookstore with low, low prices) as a child at a Disney amusement park. (Okay, maybe not quite that ecstatic - more like a kid at a carnival.) I LOVE Half Price Books and a visit there is often a high priority when we visit our family in the Midwest. (We don't have one of their stores nearby.)

So, I was shocked and dismayed when I heard that Western Iowa Community College is proudly presenting their new digital library this year. Everything in the library is digital. There are NO actual books or papers on the shelves. I just can't imagine a library without books!!

I understand the college is very proud of the fact that all materials are now accessible to all students online, from anywhere, and that nothing will ever be unavailable as someone else has "checked it out". The physical building actually features a number of computer stations as well as tables where students may simply plug in their laptops and work. Shouldn't there be a better name for this than a "library"?

While I was still digesting this bit of news, I saw anew book featured on Live with Regis and Kelly. Lane Smith has written a children's book called "It's A Book" (available on Amazon). The gist of the story is one character is reading an actual book to the amazement of his little friends who just simply cannot fathom what a book is. They ask questions like: "Do you need a password?" "Does it beep?" "Can you Tweet on it?" and so forth. The answer from the reader continues to be, "No. It's a book." They are fascinated by this oddity.

I love the concept and may buy a copy on general principles. Besides, I may need to read it to the younger generation in a few years when I tell tales of reading back in the day. (By the way, there's a shocking last line guaranteed to make you grin!)

I feel the need for a fix. I've got to go and read now.

1 comment:

Dale said...

Thank you for promoting my writing and my blog, Sue. It will be a sad day when paper books are no longer, hopefully it will never come to that, but the future of books as we know them is changing daily.