Too Much…

Duvall Bookstore 1 by Tommia Wright

Duvall Bookstore 1 by Tommia Wright

Thanks go to Robin Coyle for her post this last weekend. I read it yet shook my head in disbelief thinking, no – a public library couldn’t possibly be reduced to that!

Then I read this article: Bookless Library. Really? What’s next – bakeries without sweets? Coffee shops without coffee?

I know (and sadly accept aspects of the facts) that we’re becoming a digital world, disconnected from discourse, decency and delighting in life’s simple details. Can someone explain how this can be a library?

This is a library:

Library WideDesigned like a stack of books, the Seattle Public Library is a treasure filled with everything including digital items. Easy to spend an entire day there.

This is a library:

Dallas Public Library by Tommia Wright

Dallas Public Library by Tommia Wright

Dallas dedicates a floor to history (the seventh floor) and mystery (an entire floor for children) and a place for audiophiles to listen to music in almost any medium.

This is a library:

Biblioteca Angelica - Rome, Photo from

Biblioteca Angelica – Rome, Photo from

Granted, it’s in Rome, but any large library in a major city is worth a visit, lost in the lines of literature and more.

Stephen King said it well: “Books have weight and texture; they make a pleasant pressure in the hand. Nothing smells as good as a new book, especially if you get your nose right down in the binding, where you can still catch an acrid tang of the glue. The only thing close is the peppery smell of an old one. The odor of an old book is the odor of history, and for me, the look of a new one is still the look of the future.” (On Writing)

(Sigh). Maybe the bookless library will work where it is in Texas. I, for one, am glad the library system I use is not going at that speed of light.

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9 Responses to Too Much…

  1. Mari Collier says:

    I so agree, but truthfully, more copies of my e Books have sold online than the printed copies. Yes, there are those that buy the print copies, but they are fewer. I do not understand.

    • tommiaw says:

      That’s a wonderful way to look at it – getting books to those who can’t get to books. I’ll admit half of the digital books I’ve splurged on have a physical twin someone here in the loft.

  2. I had the experience yesterday of reading an eBook and getting all caught up in it and then reading the same book in paperback form later in the evening. When I got the ‘real’ book in hand, I loved that I could sense where I was in the story and enjoy the headings and cover art and feel of the page.
    But mostly with libraries it would terrible to remove them because one would lose that sense of discovery that comes with perusing shelves or walking by and having a book call to you. Sure you can discover books online, but there’s a certain targeted searching that has to happen compared to all those volumes presented on shelves.
    There’s also the social aspect of libraries. They provide warmth for those in the community with no place to go, and a hub for meetings or literary exchanges. They are part of the fabric of a healthy town and a great place for kids and teens to interact.
    I, for one will support them as long as they can be supported!

  3. Reblogged this on FreeValley Publishing and commented:
    A bookless library? What are your thoughts on this?

  4. robincoyle says:

    Coffeeshop without coffee. Indeed! Thanks for the pingback.

  5. Strange idea! But I suppose it could work, for areas with only a small budget for a building. I hope that residents around there will be attracted somehow and gain in both literacy and computer literacy. I want books, myself, for a lot of reasons. Sheri captured the attraction of books in her comment. And some people will resist change. I still remember a patron coming into the library in the 90s. She walked up to us with confidence; she was going to show her teen daughter something to prove a point. She said, “Where is your card catalog?” The other circ clerk and I simultaneously pointed at the computer terminal. The patron covered her face and wailed, “Oh no!”

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