How is a book like a shark?
Maybe you’ve heard that books are a dying breed, that books and libraries will be replaced by Kindles and electronic books and the Internet. Amazon.com would like you to think so. Will print books disappear because there are new ways to read?
Recently Neil Gaiman, author of books for children (Coraline, The Graveyard Book) and adults (Stardust, Neverwhere, American Gods) spoke on the need for libraries and the importance of allowing children to read whatever they want.
In his talk he quoted science fiction author Douglas Adams on the idea of electronic books.
I do not believe that all books will or should migrate onto screens: as Douglas Adams once pointed out to me, more than 20 years before the Kindle turned up, a physical book is like a shark. Sharks are old: there were sharks in the ocean before the dinosaurs. And the reason there are still sharks around is that sharks are better at being sharks than anything else is. Physical books are tough, hard to destroy, bath-resistant, solar-operated, feel good in your hand: they are good at being books, and there will always be a place for them.
So the next time you check out a book, think about how that book is like a shark: old, tough, and here to stay.
Posted by Nancy, who would rather curl up with a book than a shark.