[LMB] visible books & the future (was the economics of books)

Harimad harimad2001 at yahoo.com
Fri Feb 12 01:41:18 GMT 2010

DS> David Samson wrote:
DS> Just a side comment.  I was an Army Recruiter in
DS> San Jose, CA in 1983 or so and was in a lot of homes.
DS> Mostly middle class and in the great vast majority
DS> there were NO books visible.  In some a coffee table
DS> book or two.  I enlisted one son of a fantasy writer
DS> and their house was the only one with LOTS of
DS> visible books....

My first thought was "You wouldn't see a lot of books in our house either."  The vast bulk of our 2000 book collection is in a room you wouldn't see; you'd be in the kitchen or living room.

Then I thought: well, the kids (both under 5) have a few dozen books on the low kitchen shelves.  And I have about a hundred cookbooks, which you might chance to see if I happen to open those cabinets while you're in the kitchen.  And we usually have a couple of the books we're currently reading laying around, plus maybe one or two on the counter waiting to be returned to the library.  And we have a few hundred in the dining/sun room shelves which you might see from the living room.  And who knows what the book distribution will be, when the kids are old enough to be recruitable.  They might also pick up the habit of keeping books in the bathroom, which you'd see if you used the facilities.

So my last thought was "You'd see enough books to guess at our collection."

Question: if e-books are the future, how will we know if a home we visit has a lot of books or not?  And will we be deprived of the pleasure of idly perusing someone else's collection and thereby finding unexpected connections?

- Harimad


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