Wednesday 24 November 2010

The New Memory Theater: What will be the new 'bookshelf'?

Forget what constitutes a 'book'. What will be the new 'bookshelf'?
What concerns me about the literary apocalypse that everybody now expects — the at least partial elimination of paper books in favor of digital alternatives — is not chiefly the books themselves, but the bookshelf. My fear is for the eclectic, personal collections that we bookish people assemble over the course of our lives, as well as for their grander, public step-siblings. I fear for our memory theaters.
Nathan Schneider


Colin Shelbourn said...

Perhaps, like shelves of CDs, books will vanish into the computer, to be called up when required.

If so, I'd like to see the bookcase replaced by a virtual version.Perhaps a wide digital picture frame - or maybe the home tv/internet device - which shows book covers as a screensaver, reminding you of books you've read and ones it is time to explore again.

This Into That said...

I stopped storing books many years ago after I realized I would never re-read the novels of my 20's. In the end, I settled for a list in a text file, which has proven more valuable as time goes by. I started with a list of what I might want to read and have moved each book I do read down under the year I read it. So I can see what I've been reading for over a dozen years. If I want to read something again, it's easier than ever to get a copy.