Sunday, June 25, 2006

More bookseller encouragement

This time from John Updike, in today's New York Times:

"Booksellers, you are the salt of the book world. You are on the front line where, while the author cowers in his opium den, you encounter -- or "interface with," as we say now -- the rare and mysterious Americans who are willing to plunk down $25 for a book."

Updike gives a link to an article that gleefully envisions the end of the bookseller and offers his critique. I refused to click on the link to the article because thinking about a "universal library" and the digitalization of books, or mere snippets of one's favorite books, into a virtual bookshelf, much like iTunes, makes me want to don my bunny slippers and hide under the covers as I marinate in denial.

"The book revolution, which, from the Renaissance on, taught men and women to cherish and cultivate their individuality, threatens to end in a sparkling cloud of snippets. So, booksellers, defend your lonely forts. Keep your edges dry. Your edges are our edges. For some of us, books are intrinsic to our sense of personal identity."
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