[LMB] why we still need paper books
mmegaera at nwlink.com
Tue Sep 20 18:14:38 BST 2011
> In summary, I'd expect that the desires of those with money will drive the
> market as it always has. Yet, I'd expect fall-through to poor people to
> stay as good as it is, now, or improve with the changeover to e-books.
> Your thoughts?
My thoughts as a former librarian is that you're way too optimistic about
the fall-through. Seanan McGuire's original post (the link I posted that
started this discussion) talks about how she grew up in what sounds
appallingly like Vorbarr Sultana's Caravanserai, and how the problem was at
least as much keeping anything of any value from getting taken away (stolen,
grabbed by bullies) as it was acquiring it in the first place. Not to
mention that the number of ebook readers needed without the availability of
paper books would be far beyond any public library's financial capability to
provide them, even assuming they drop to the price of a hardback any time
soon, which I don't see happening. Maybe to the price of a decent coffee
I do agree with you about it being the people with the money driving the
market. But libraries *are* a substantial part of those "people with the
money," and I suspect they'll want to keep paper as long as they can because
of the sheer logistics.
And I agree with Pat about the Great Recession not being anywhere near
over -- my brother-in-law and I had an argument about that. He insisted on
the economists' narrow definition of a recession. I insist that the
recession (depression?) isn't over until the unemployment rate goes down
below a reasonable figure. Jobless recovery? There is no such thing. The
one word negates the other.
who knows a lot of people whose only internet access is at the library --
and a good many who don't even use that for a lot of good reasons
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