The Virtue of Books

THE VIRTUE OF BOOKS….I was all ready to be annoyed yet again by an op-ed decrying Google’s project to digitize the holdings of several major research libraries (see here for Friday’s outrage), but instead the LA Times pleasantly surprised me today with an excellent, nuanced piece that not only hits the right tone, but also discusses all the relevant issues both pro and con that Friday’s piece missed completely. (Although I do wish that writers who ? rightly ? praise the serendipitous virtues of browsing open stacks also acknowledged the frequently greater serendipity involved in Googling. It’s one of the great joys of the internet.)

I also loved this line about the value of actual paperbound books:

There are only two reasons for buying a book, after all. Either we intend to read it, in which case most of us find a printed version preferable, or we don’t intend to read it, in which case a printed version is absolutely essential.

So true, so true….