Earlier today, I was reading an interesting article by David Pogue called The Trouble with E-Readers.

It made me wonder if people are reading anything other than the displays on their damned cell phones and iThings. I guess it’s progress, but to me it’s just sad. I’m watching another part of my world drift off into the void.

I was brought up to love and appreciate books. Yeah… you remember those, right? They were made out of paper and had inked characters printed in them. In case you’re one of the younger crowd, see Figure 1.

Figure 1

You actually held them in your hands and manually turned the pages to continue reading. Ray Bradbury wrote a classic one called Fahrenheit 451; it was about folks who burned books. You should read it. It’s probably available for your nerd-reader or whatever gadget you use.

Where am I going with this rant? Well, I’m not quite sure, but we can travel along together and find out. That’s half the fun, right? Anyway, being a lover of books, I have quite a few of them. As a matter of fact, I’ve been collecting my library for about 30 years. I peaked at about 10,000 editions. That’s a lot of books. They tend to push you out of your own house.

That’s what happened to me. I realized one day recently that I had no use for a goodly portion of these books; mostly the fiction ones. They were great reading when I read them, but I rarely read a book twice. There are just too many other good ones out there waiting to be read. With this thought in mind, I decided to liquidate much of my personal library.

I had the majority packed in boxes in what used to be my living room. I started going through them box by box about a month or so ago. I wanted to find a way to pass them on to folks who might love them as much as I did. The question was how to move them out quickly and in bulk, if possible.

I knew that selling on the Internet was useless. It would have taken me ten years to catalog them and another ten to sell them online. And have you seen online book prices lately? They’re selling them for .01ยข + S/H. It’s ridiculous… and sad. There’s either a glut of books or a shortage of readers; a bit of both, I think.

Next, I thought of charities. I called hospitals, libraries, schools, etc. No one wanted books. I gave a few hundred to friends and family members. I gave another 1000 or so away to charity thrifts stores. I still have a thousand or so to go. I have them all lined up along the wall in my living room. See Figure 2. I just need to find someone who wants them.

Figure 2

Click for bigger pic

So, does anyone read anymore? I guess not. One person I talked to actually suggested that I take my books to a paper recycler. Jeeeez, man! That would be like shredding up my children. What the hell’s the matter with folks these days? Don’t they remember (or did they ever experience) the joy of reading a good book on a slow summer’s afternoon? How can anyone curl up with their kitty and a good e-Reader on a cold winter’s eve? It just ain’t right, I tell ya’.

Well, I’ll continue to search for worthy recipients of my books. Maybe we’ll even get an update article here once I’ve found someone to give them to. In the meantime… go read a book.



About V. T. Eric Layton

vtel57, Nocturnal Slacker

17 responses »

  1. comhack says:

    Yeah I am the perfect example of what you are talking about. I love books but only have a couple of actual books. I do have a few thousands books but they are in digital format, epub/pdf format. I bought a Nook recently and love reading on it. It is not the same as a real book but the e-ink is a lot closer to a book visually than a backlight LCD is. That makes it easier on the eyes. If you wanna get rid of some books, send some to me.

  2. Excellent article that makes some very good points.

    Besides, many of us LOVE paper books. We collect them, read them, re-read them, loan them to friends and relatives, and we treasure them!

    There is no way paper books are going away! Not yet anyway.

    Have to admit I do read many books on the Kindle app on my various computers and idevice. Why would someone who loves paper books so much read on the Kindle app? I am on the go a lot with my business … convenience and price!

    • Being on the go does hamper reading hobbies for most folks. Friend ChipDoc from my boards and BATL listens to audio books on his hour + ride to and from work. Not everyone has the time to sit and read; especially, it seems, these days. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

      • Yes! Since getting older (still love to read, but eyes get so tired these days with all the reading unrelated to books), and also being in the car so much with my business, I too listen to audio books. It helps pass the time since I have to be on the road so much! I read the Kindle app on my idevice on the ferry though. ๐Ÿ˜€

        Librivox.org is a great place to get free audio books! And archive.org as well (many of the Librivox ones, which makes it easier to find them, are also from archive.org, and also gutenberg has them too along with textual ones that I also use on the Stanza ebook reader on my Mac and idevice. I have also bought some audio books and of course some Kindle app books. But there are some great classics for free for the Kindle app (which is available on all OSes except for PPC Mac ๐Ÿ˜ฆ ).

  3. Fahrenheit 451 – One of my all time favorite books!

    I even did a post or two myself on my blog featuring Fahrenheit 451, as well as 1984 and Brave New World.

    Books and reading in general are a couple of my most favorite things!

  4. chrisretusn says:

    I did read near as much as I used to. That said when I do read it has to be in the form of a book or magazine. Just can not picture my self curling up to a good kindle.

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