I was reading this about books and Kindles and other e-devices. In the article, children's author Penelope Lively (whom I've never heard of) states that "anyone whose library consists of a Kindle lying on a table is some sort of bloodless nerd." Here's the entire original article.
I love books. I grew up with them. Anyone who has been reading this blog knows that I practically wet myself when I get ahold of a new book. I also grew up with records and CDs, and non-digital television, and analog telephones and dial-up internet. I have some nostalgia for those things, but I would not, could not lament their loss because their replacements make life better.
Half of my library is still made up of paper books. But here's the thing: books are not a status symbol. Ms. Lively's quote seems to encapsulate the position of a lot of people. And I think the reason is because having loads of books makes people FEEL smarter. Others walk into their houses and see all the books and assume they've read them and assume that they're intelligent.
Owning books doesn't make you smarter, reading them does. So who gives a crap whether you read them in book form or from one of the many wonderful e-devices now available?
Opinions like this annoy me because they seem to try imbue paper with more significance than it actually has. The manner in which a story is transmitted from storyteller to audience is less important than the story itself. I think e-books are the way we're going to bring boys back to reading. Devices that allow them to read whatever they want without fear of bullying are amazing to me. I wish I'd had them.
Also, I am a bloodless nerd. Below are pictures of my library and my e-library. And you know what? I've read all those books.