Lifestyle

Books: An Endangered Species?

Books: An Endangered Species?

There are times when all you want to do is to grab a cup of tea, curl up in your favourite chair and grab a good, old-fashioned … e-book? Gone are the days where you found yourself immersed in a maze of library stacks, searching for the ‘right’ book.  Your only clue as to the subject and content of the book was the brief description written on an inside cover– written to allure you into the world the author created with his words. The popularity of the library has begun to decline, at least in North America.

More and more people are turning towards the electronic/digital book (e-book) and audio format leaving the written word in the dust, literally. With the recent development and popularity of digital book readers and the accessibility of the e-book, the traditional paperback is dangerously becoming an endangered species.

the-end-of-booksPerhaps it’s the new ‘flashy’  packaging and the graphic design that allows you  to sort your books and see them float magically onto the digital shelving; maybe it’s the availability of virtually any title you can imagine at your fingertips; or maybe it’s just the age of technology. Whatever it is, it’s catching on, and fast.

Though I do not miss the dust that accompanied each library book I checked out, and I do not miss the crinkly poorly designed plastic covers, I do miss the feel of somehow sharing an experience with other readers. I often wondered about their views regarding the plot, their reaction to the intense dream sequence and their feelings toward the inevitable ‘twist’ at the end as I held the same book in my hand that they held.

Admittedly there is a re-emerging trend that has come about since the creation of Oprah’s book club a few years back that has allowed people to connect again through the literary world.  Local groups have started forming in an attempt to share their thoughts with each other on the newest ‘must-read’ or ‘Best-seller’.  But somehow, the public library has lost its public appeal.

I will admit that the software that has been developed to accompany the e-books is incredible. Not only can you change the font sizes and backgrounds but you can activate audio components and some software is compatible with teaching people how to read the text.  Still, with the development of electronic books literary enthusiasts will tell you there is something magical that happens when you hold a book in your hand, smell the pages, and dive into the story.  Will I ever own an e-book collection? Most likely.  But until then, it’s a novel concept to me.

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