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Will the books as we know them cease to exist?
In the future, will children know what books are? Plain books in paper. Will they remember them? Many think not, because the computer is taking slowly over our lives. Soon every thing will be connected to one big network they say. Personally I have doubts. Yes, the computer is becoming more and more part of our everyday life, but we will not stop printing books. I don’t think anybody prefers to read a novel on a computer screen. No, to have a solid book between your hands is still the best.
Schools for instance, will they stop buying books for educational usage? Will they become dependent on the Internet, CD-ROM technology, and other forms of information sources? This has been a big issue in the US. The Clinton administration want’s the Internet in every classroom. O.K., so there is a lot of information out there, good and bad, but will this project save money? The Internet is still in an early stage, and very unstable. Remember, the information out there can not be controlled. And what is the point? If you need information about “wildlife in Africa”. Would you search the Net, and use an hour to sort out all the 3456667 documents it found? Or you could use an Encyclopedia to find it within a few minutes! This is only one example of things I’ve seen. I’m not saying that the Internet or computers are bad, or that schoolchildren shouldn’t use them, but that we must not forget about all the millions of books out there. Instead of using tax money on the Internet, why don’t they use the same money on public libraries and encourage kids to read and enjoy books. Learn them to let their imagination go anywhere they want.
My second example is about the use of paper in books. Have you ever seen an business man sign a contract on a laptop? On a document that is saved on a computer? No, didn’t think so, and neither have I. They all use paperdocuments and other contracts, because they can use it as proof if something goes wrong. You can not edit paper documents without anybody noticing, as you can with a document on a computer. The PC will never tell…..
What about the environment? ”We must stop chopping down trees in the Amazon!”. You hear about it all the time. “We must stop paper production!”. Well, yes, I do care about “Mother earth”, but there are coming better ways to produce paper and recycle as we speak. And in the future sometime we won’t have to cut down trees to enjoy the lovely paper in the books. Wee! That should make all the environmentalist happy, and keep the bookworm reading!
How often do you hear about bestsellers? I hear about it very often, and that’s because books sell. Some sell in millions and others a few hundred thousand. The book and publishing industry is booming. They have big profits, and they keep putting new and exiting books on the market. I once found a “book” on the Internet. You could download it on to your computer and then read or print it out. Who on earth would print out a 500 page book? Not me, and I would not sit in front of my computerscreen and read it! I like to have my books in my hand, and sit in my good chair, drink coffee and eat cookies. That’s how I like it, good and traditional. Perhaps my children will prefer to read a book or a novel on a screen, and that’s O.K, just as long they know what a real book is.
I’ve given you a few examples on why I don’t think books will disappear from the shelves. Yes, I really think they will stay in our homes, and create good times for you and your children for a long time, and no one will ever forget them. What have made books so special? Why do we keep on buying them? I believe it’s because they let us escape to a world beyond our wildest dreams, and create new and exiting worlds for our children to explore. In a book you can become the “hero”, the Space Ace or the beautiful princess. That is, ladies and gentlemen, the reason I think books will survive our computerized society. Now you can go out and buy yourself a good book. I personally recommend Arthur C. Clark or Tom Clancy!
Enjoy your reading!
Written by: Leif Erik Thomassen 1997