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.
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 .01¢ + 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.
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.