In a related question to last week’s– I was reading the other day a quote from JFK Jr who said on the death of his mother, that she died surrounded by family, friends, and her books. Apparently, Jackie’s books were very much a part of HER, her personality, her sense of self. Up until recently, people could browse your bookshelves and learn a lot about you–what your interests are, your range of topics, favorite authors, how much you read (or at least buy books). More and more, though, this is changing. People aren’t buying books so much as borrowing them from the library. Or reading them on their e-readers or computers. There’s nothing PHYSICAL on the shelves to tell strangers in your home, for better or worse, who you ARE. Do you think this is a good thing? Bad? Discuss!
I am undecided on the ereader. I have tried and don't particularly like reading with them and yet I can still see the appeal. I think if I travelled for work much like I used to I would have said yes when my dad offered to get me a kindle for Christmas. They have their positive sides for new authors particularly with the way the book industry is going. I could go into more detail here but this isn't what this prompt is about.
This is actually one of the things I hate about ereaders and what worries me about books in the future. How can you share an ebook? Is that possible? I haven't looked into it enough to know if you can share. I have a group of friends I meet quite regularly. We aren't a book group. We meet to catch up, have some coffee and do a little shopping. We are all readers though and some of our tastes do match. Every time we get together one of us has a big bag of books and DVDs to lend out. It's almost become like a swap meet and we all love it. It's something we all look forward to very much. It's more of a social thing than a reading thing and I am sure there are others out there who do something similar. I hate the idea that this would no longer be possible in the future.
I also have a book group and we do the same thing. When we are picking books we usually bring physical copies of our suggestions along for people to see. Even if they aren't always picked they tend to be loaned out to others. Again with the rise in popularity of ereaders (there are only one or two of us who have them mind you) that would disappear. We also bring along books that we have talked about in the past to pass on.
How many of us readers out there check out a friends book case when visiting? You can't help it (thankfully all my friends are the same and so don't mind). It's the first thing I look at. How do they display their books? Do we have the same taste? How many of these have I read? Are there any authors in there I should take a note of? All of these things pass through my mind.
I personally think we will loose out on a lot if the world turned to just ereaders. The one thing I discovered from last weeks prompt is that we are all proud to be readers and display our books if we can. We want people to see what we read in the hopes that we find someone else to share that with. This would be lost, sharing with friends would be lost and we ourselves might miss out on a fantastic book because we haven't come across it. For these reasons it's a bad thing and it actually makes me a little sad.