Over on Slate, citing the steep decline of American newspapers as a logical benchmark, Jacob Weisberg is bemoaning what he sees at the inevitable death of printed books in favor of wireless media devices a la “Star Trek: The Next Generation.”
However, I don’t buy it.
For one thing, newspapers are virtually worthless. Their intent is to share small bits of information, and be disposed of – typically, in airport bathrooms and commuter trains where they are consumed like gum and spat out. Books, however, require far more concentration to get through and do not require batteries.
Further, many people—like myself—enjoy collecting and displaying books in home-built libraries. It’s fun, colorful, romantic, and dare I say, appeals to the artistic snob in all of us – the only downside being the expense for ever-swelling bookshelves.
So to Mr. Weisberg, I would argue he step back off the ledge. His leather-bound collector’s editions of the Sweet Valley High saga aren’t going anywhere.