Are books obsolete?

December 28th, 2015 by Ken

Recently I did something very unusual and very traumatic for me.   I gave away my books.   That’s right – – I gave away more than a hundred books from my collection.

I didn’t want to do it.   I loved those books.   Some of them I have had for decades.   Others were relatively new to my collection.  But, it was time for them to go.

I just didn’t need them anymore.

They were reference books – – beautiful reference books.   These weren’t pocket novels or paperback books.   These were full-sized – – expensive books – – full of information and knowledge collected over the ages.

History books  — biographies – – almanacs – – picture books for browsing  – – good books – – books I’ve loved and books I’ve used in my work – – but – – books I no longer need.

I no longer needed them because now I have the Internet.   I have Google, I have Wikipedia – I have search engines of every kind.   I have all the information of the world – readily available at my finger tips.

If I want to know when the first Thanksgiving was declared, I Google it.   If I want to know the meaning of a word – I Google it.   If I don’t know the correct spelling of a word, I type my best guess and my computer corrects me.

If I want information on Australia – – I just Google it – – and almost instantly, everything I want to know about Australia is right there – on my computer screen.

Researching information for stories used to take time – – lots of time.  I had to go to my bookcase – – find the right book – – look up the information I needed – – and then get back to my computer.    Now, I don’t have to leave my seat.

My books had become obsolete,   I didn’t need them anymore.

I loaded them into the trunk of my car and headed for the library.   I was going to donate them for the library’s book sale.  But – – I stopped at a family gathering on the way and before I knew it, the kids and the grandkids were getting in the trunk of the car and going through the books.   By the time they were through, most of the books were gone.

I don’t know what that says about kids today – – but at least in my family, some of the younger members still read books.

The library got what books were left.

Posted in The Real News

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