This morning read David Churbuck's post about the virtual bookshelf. He loves his Kindle, though he worries that it's destroying perhaps the greatest joy of literature - sharing it. Lending books to people, swapping them with one another, and then discussing their merits. He questions the selfishness that we embrace with our new electronic devices.
That set me to thinking about how we might combine technology and literature in a win-win, rather than consuming one at the jeopardy of the other. This idea is particularly poignant to me because of a fiction piece I am working on that revolves around this very idea - a children's story that I began after taking a stroll through one of the increasingly rare used book stores in New York City. I love my local Barnes & Noble, though there is something magical in the mustiness of those bookshelves that contain texts far older than me. There is history living in those shelves - those books represent pieces of people's lives, the same way that my books represent mine.
I don't have any good answers for this conundrum of technology co-existing with literature, though its a question I'll be considering in the days and years to come. I'd love to hear your thoughts and comments if you'd like to share them.
The photo above can be found at: http://www.likecool.com/Home/Store/Cave%20Bookshelf/Cave-Bookshelf.jpg