I'll have to preface this by warning you that I am an English major
, so my remarks may be more than a little biased
. That said, books will never die
. I definitely don't believe that they're already dead. Just look at the market for books; Amazon
may not be making any actual money
, but they certainly are generating plenty of revenue. Barnes & Noble
aren't doing too bad, either.
What replacements do we have for books? The internet
is good for information, but if you're planning on reading War and Peace
off of a monitor, you may as well invest in braille
right now; "looking into the light" for that long would definitely make you blind. Movies and television are fun and all, but plenty of them come from books. Painting hasn't died out because of photography; books won't die because of television.
There's a certain tangibility
to books that no other form of media has been able to replace thus far. The smell of the binding, the feel of the pages, the sound of the turning page...these may not be as exciting for you as they are for me, but there are millions of people out there who are as hooked on books as any junkie
is on heroin. And let's not forget children's books, either. There is far more intimacy
between a mother and child who cuddle up on the sofa with a copy of Winnie the Pooh
than a mother and child who sit in front of the computer and play with a Teletubbies
CD-ROM. Those of us who were read to as children associate comfort with books, and when you're taught to enjoy something that much from your childhood, you're not likely to give it up.
Perhaps we aren't as literary a culture as we once were. Then again, the barbarian
tribes who took over Europe after the Fall of Rome
weren't nearly as literary as their predecessors. But there were a few oases of literature that remained, and those eventually spread and re-educated the masses. I believe the same will always be true. Culture tends to cycle back on itself; this, too, shall pass.