Books Belong In Bookshops…

… and in our hands.

Heather Collins over at the Scottish Booktrust writes on why Books deserve to be sold on the highstreet.  While I don’t care for the comparisons with Fairtrade and Organic food I do agree that part of the fun is browsing.  I love to browse.  I like to walk in and spend ages wandering back and forth looking in books, admiring artwork and generally enjoying myself.   The thought that this might stop fills me with a lot of sadness.

Even the Guardian asks Will Books Vanish With Bookshops? I hope not.   There’s a part of me that wonders if we’re living in interesting times.   I’ve lived through:  the fall of the Soviets, I’ve seen space shuttles explode and watched genocide happen Live on television. So will I also watch the end of one of our most important cultural artefacts?  Again I hope not.  If the future is one where we never leave our homes, where we spend our lives more connected and more distant then it’s a future I don’t look forward to.

As Ray Bradbury said (PDF):

Magazines and books didn’t sell any more. Everything went on in the tomblike houses at night now, he thought, continuing his fancy.  The tombs, ill-lit by television light, where the people sat like the dead, the  gray or multicolored lights touching their faces, but never really touching them.

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