What are we going to do with all of the old books, sitting unread, on shelves around the world.
In this digital age, with the decline of print, there are millions and millions of books sitting on shelves in homes, libraries and other places that seem destined for the scrap heap. I wrote a Hub about sustainable construction and another hubber asked me if there was any use for all of the books - and I quote, "Can I build a house with them? Can I burn them in a fluidised bed combustion and turn them into bio-char? Can I use them to build retaining walls? Ideas welcome on sustainable design using old books." Most of us love books, so what are we going to do?
That's a very relevant question. Like you, even I feel very much concerned about all the books lying at our homes, libraries and elsewhere around the world.
It would be great if people again start taking interest in the books. I can not think anything other than this-----Treasure them, take care of them for future generations.
I guess the best thing is to create academic orientation for students and encourage them to convert these books to digital resource which stake holders of education and interested individuals or groups can edit and publish on the web. Some may call this piracy but our law makers can do something about that; and make a law provision that will allow such to take place.
I like your observation and I think its worth considering to prepare our youth for the challenges coming before them in the next generations.
I agree, they do need to be digitized but what about the physical book - what do we do with these?
Well, once digitized in a manner generations to come will still benefit from them we have no more use for them again. As I type these words now an idea just came in that we humans should find means of recording events that will survive for ages.
Well considering there are so many countries who have no access to nooks and kindles and such, maybe we should start donating the unused to those countries.
Personally, I'm having trouble switching to the digital age of books. I've owned a kindle for almost a year now, and I read a total of one and a half novels on it. Meanwhile I read over ten physical books in that same span of time. I think that for a lot of avid readers, books will become decoration. For example, my dream house has always included a study/library where I line the walls with shelves and fill those shelves with books. I cant exactly do that with a collection of ebooks. Not everyone will want a room like that, but imagine how dull bookstores, libraries and studies would be without the physical volumes.
I am convinced a lot of books will be disposed of in an undignified way as you suggested. However, I am also convinced that many will stay around and will remain appreciated by a large number of people. The best of them will become collector's items, as it happened with paintings or cars of the past for example. I am sure people who have large libraries will pass them on to their heirs. I mean if people collect matchboxes, which are useless, at least you can read a book and get something out of it. So, even though I fear a large number of books will be gone, enough will be preserved for future generations to laugh at the way their ancestors used to read. Sad, but a sure sign of the times. Great question about a real concern !
Like others have said, we could give them to people in countries who don't have much access to books. BUT we could digitise them all first, so that they could be accessed online, by everyone, eventually (after copyright expires, I guess).
I hear Google Books is digitising a lot of books.
I love books, so if I have to give them away, I usually pass them on to friends/family/charity store.
My little kids used to take my nice cookbook set and make stairs out of all the books. Maybe that's something we all should be considering.
We could donate our books to the libraries so they can add more to their collections that can be used, shared, and loved by our communities. I am struggling with the fact that I need to let go of a lot of my printed treasures, *sigh*. it is not easy, but totally loving my Kindle and loving the fact that it is currently holding 1000+ treasures for me to enjoy. I could never hold 1000 books in my hand, giggles.
We cannot let archaic books to degrade just like that...these books can be donated to charities and other non-for-profit organizations since their value are low. Albeit the digital age is truly flourishing, there are some drawbacks we fail to realize, that in order to read texts on our computers, we consume electrical energy. Reading real books is one of the ways in which we can reduce our carbon footprint!
My books keep my bookshelves and bookcases true and square. If I remove too many of them, the shelves will fall and the bookcases will implode. I suppose the ones in boxes under the stairs are providing vital insulation to that part of the house.
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