My books are all paper weights

With the advent of Kindles and Apps, the single function, single license, awkward book seems outdated and obsolete. I know a lot of people are lamenting the closing of libraries across North America (especially in Toronto over the last couple of days), but I think we can safely dismiss their views as valueless nostalgia. Books, like the papyrus scroll are obsolete. They are unsearchable – even when designed for that purpose, like a dictionary, it takes a long time to find your entry. Text-to-voice software isn’t comparable with them. They are not scalable; they can only be shared to one person at a time. They are hard to digitize or transfer to another file type. They don’t cut and paste easily. If you are referring to one, you have to type in the text you are quoting. They’re heavy. They aren’t sleek or slick. They are hard to brand.  And if you think lectures are boring, just wait until you try to read an entire book…

Yes, the book seems to have been a historical accident. We don’t really like them; however, for so long they were our only real option – luckily that is no longer the case.

Our biggest problem now is what do we do with them? They have filled huge rooms or even whole buildings; some libraries are literally sinking under the weight.

I suggest that we burn them. Not merely for some cathartic release / burning away with the past (to light the way to the future…); I suggest that we burn them to to generate electricity to power our current technology obsession (safely of course…we wouldn’t want to hurt anyone’s future). At about 20 calories a page, that’s a lot of Twitter and Facebook posts we’re sitting on. Maybe some schools will have enough power to sell to the grid that they can afford 1-to-1 ratio Ipods for kindergarten students. Wouldn’t that be great…a class of kindergarten students sitting in a big empty space where we used to store books with Ipods entertaining…I mean “engaging” them – of course, we’d have to buy wall hangings to suppress the echo…

I think this is an idea worth considering…we should probably burn “Fahrenheit 451” and “Brave New World” last….maybe we’d even find a way to harvest Huxley’s and Postman’s tears….

Or am I wrong….do books have value?


  1. #1 by Squid on February 17, 2015 - 3:04 pm

    I find this post rather offensive, because if we remove all of the worlds books, the people who don’t have the luxury of internet will no longer have anyway to read, publish their books and if the internet crashes, all of the knowledge will be lost. Books are important to us, if not now, then at least in the future.

  2. #2 by hypnobrain on March 9, 2015 - 10:09 am

    I think that real books have importance and should not just be replaced by digital technology for a few reasons. First, I think that real books are more durable than things like iPads and Kindles and books don’t have limited memory. The bright light from books can damage your eyes, after a while the light strains your eyes and can damage them. Finally, I think that books have a stronger presence than a ebook, I think that having a real book will help you read more because its something that you have to move and touch rather than an app you might not even see.

  3. #3 by hypnobrain on March 25, 2015 - 11:49 am

    I found a book mark with this on it, i thought it made sense to post it here: Book; A written work of fiction or nonfiction transcribed in a set of bound paper pages. Never needs charging. Pages are pre-loaded. Never malfunctions. No instructions necessary.Can be autographed. Collectible. Doubles as a flower press. Can function as a door step. Smells good. Likes a bookmark.

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