Saturday, July 6, 2013

No conflict between ebooks and print books for me.

I've read a lot of articles lately about libraries thinking about going all digital all the time. This concerns me.  What is so difficult about the idea of embracing electronic resources while also having the beloved books in print available for all? Think about it. I don't know about you, but it seems to me that this time of year is the perfect argument for both formats.

 I have books downloaded on my iPad, but when I go outside to enjoy some time on my lounge chair, I can't see the screen. Also the electronic devices don't like the warm weather, even if I could see the screen. It's just too hot for them. So I take a good old fashioned book outside to my yard, on the beach, at the pool, at the lake, at the park, and I read. No unhealthy sand and sun for my iPad or laptop, and no worries about spilling my iced coffee and having a significant cost to replace it.  I don't have to worry about charging them up! I am not tempted by the distractions of my online communities. I get to enjoy the outdoors and relax. Who wants to be stuck inside this time of year?

Next week I am headed out of town. It is pretty easy to take along my ipad. I can access my ebooks on the plane, train, or bus. If I am driving I can plug it in and listen to an audio book.  It provides its own light in the hotel room late at night when my husband wants to turn in for the night. If I want to go online and check twitter or Facebook, watch a movie, or listen to the radio, the network access is there for me. And has there ever been a better app to have with you all day than I can check on the scores and root for the Sox to win and taking a peek at all their competition and hoping they are not winning. That option is not available with those old fashioned books! I can get the classics for free and literally have them at my finger tips. What more could I ask for?

So for me, it is not an either or situation. I appeal to all libraries not to abandon the printed word for the electronic word. Both are viable and valuable for our mental and physical well-being.  I am on my electronic devices every day, at all hours of the day, but let's not go crazy here. We need all that the web 2.0 world has to offer and all that the a book we take out of our beach bag provides: an opportunity to read, relax, learn, and enjoy. Happy Summer! 

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