“It’s a perfect technology.”

I’m in library school, so I spend a lot of time talking to people about what the future of librarianship, and books, might look like. I think my choosing to enter library school already illustrates my opinion on the profession. As to books: Maybe one day thousands of years in the future, books will be gone. But not yet, not in our lifetimes because books are still the best. Sometimes, I must admit, these convictions aren’t enough to keep me from worrying.

I think one day librarians will do things very differently than they do now, but that’s life. As “Bear” put it, “Librarianship isn’t dying, it’s just changing.”

During our conversation, Bear also had one of the most simultaneously eloquent and brief assessment of why books are not going anywhere:

“Books are a perfect technology.”

Yes, books are heavy and bulky. But they can do everything. And reading devices can’t. And they don’t hurt your eyes, but reading devices do.

It just made such perfect sense, hearing those five words, that I want to start an ad campaign for books expressly so I can use that statement as a slogan. How can something be rendered obsolete when it’s the only perfect device around?

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