I’m afraid that books are disappearing. Not the Francois Truffaut Fahrenheit 451 (1966) kind of disappearing, but in other ways.
I imagine a future where libraries become museums for books after we all got rid of our books because they took up too much space. Of course by then – in this soon-to-come future – we had all turned to reading on electronic devices.
In the midst of helping my friend pack to move to a smaller place I discovered that I was basically “hoarding” books. Whatever she did not want I took. While thinking about why I wanted them all I realized that I was afraid that if I did not take them now I would never have the opportunity to just go to a bookstore around the corner buy them at another time. So many book stores have closed in New York recently.
The signs that books are disappearing are everywhere.
Just last week when ordering books for my class this fall I was notified of yet another out of print, a book I have used for years now- gone. Apparently I am not alone in this thinking. The Hughes Brothers in their film The Book of Eli (2010) explore this notion in a vivid and vicious future where books are scarce.
I am old fashioned, happy to have electricity but also prepared to live without it. So, when the lights go out – which they have several times in recent NYC history, I want to be able to read by candle light (or battery light for as long as that lasts).
Keep your books, at least some of them.