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Private Tutor Prefers ‘Real’ Books – Shock/horror!

January 23, 2013
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Thoughts From The Corner

Checking Freshly Pressed blogs is a great break from being a private tutor – a no stress, no pressure way of spending quality time.

Recently I read a ‘Book Peeps’ Freshly Pressed post – ‘Here it comes:The Bookless Library (Sooner than I expected)’. What a thoughtful piece of writing it was. I clicked ‘follow’ faster than a ferret down a rabbit hole, hoping for more goodies in the future.

In May 2012 I was joined on this blogging journey by Professor Serendipity- not his real name (of course!) but a real Englsh university professor nonetheless. Now in his mid 80’s he retired from university lecturing several years ago but still keeps his hand in lecturing to societies, etc.

Prof. Serendip. is a Classics lecturer whohas  had books published over the course of his career, translating from Ancient Greek to English. Lately he has found his books disappearing from library shelves. Further investigation found that it was not only his books that libraries took umbrage to but all kinds of books were vanishing from library shelving and ending up in skips/dumpsters.

As a life-long bibliophile he took to tracking down some of these fast disappearing books and wrote about them on this blog (May – October). I am afraid it doesn’t make for pleasant reading. All the books he highlights will never be digitized, they will simply be lost to society. ‘Book Peeps’ post about a ‘digital-only’ library highlights an amazing project but will readers/researchers be able to access Prof. Serendip’s books? No – they won’t.

No Digitization = No Access

How many books will NOT be digitized is, in my opinion, a more pertinent question than how many will.

While giving a private English tuition lesson recently I was offered use of an iPad. I replied, ‘No thank you. I have brought the book with me’. May it always be so.

English: old books in Château de Breteuil, France

English: old books in Château de Breteuil, France (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From → Books

  1. I also read that post. I’m not sure what I think. I like the convenience of e-books, especially books that I don’t need in physical form (cook books, or um, Agatha Christie). I recognise many good books aren’t available digitally, but, if they are only housed in the Radcliffe Camera, it may as well not exist for so many people. If only there was a good compromise between paper and technology.

  2. Thank you so much! I never imagined, when thinking about the consequences of the demise of bound books, that many important books are not currently preserved (by reprinting or digitized) and thrown in the dumpster! I’m reblogging this. We have a wonderful platform in WordPress to keep the dialog going.

  3. Reblogged this on Book Peeps and commented:
    Trashing vs. preserving books – Another sad consequence of our disposable society.

  4. I love the feel of a physical book (I’m thinking that ebooks are real books- otherwise what would they be? The story is there on the page, only the page is made of something other than paper.)

    What I want is to see more reference books as eBooks. I would love to load my Kindle with a GOOD dictionary, a good thesaurus, and other books on about writing. That would be very helpful for me. But currently there isn’t much available.

    Thanks for great info.


    Linda Joyce

  5. the only upside to this which i just experienced is that state institutions are giving away their books. the state library in sc just did that. it is a library which is used pretty much just by legislators. it was amazing. no one else was there grabbing when i was. i took many. the library folks kept pushing me. i got horse books from the 1950s, fashion books from the forties, histories, gardening books, car books, transportation books (one had never been checked out: about henry flagler who “developed” florida) and one little book which i liked just for its pattern! one book my husband is reading had not been checked out since 1959. had to integrate a lot of books into my already lot of books. placed some of the oversized fashion books with their elegant drawings on the front (cloth covers) in a place on the shelves where the ladies (drawings) can be seen. do that with a kindle!

  6. Fantastic the books have found a good home. Not always so here in ‘Educated and Civilized’ England!

    Figures released recently show 210 libraries have been closed in the Uk from 2010-2012.

  7. Although I do have a kindle and find it damned convenient, I really love actual books. I love the feel, the smell and the magical evokation of childhood that a well made book brings. I do not like the idea of losing great chunks of past writing just because no-one can work out how to make money out of their digitization. In short, I want access to both.

  8. I bought a kindle about 18 months ago and haven’t looked back. I originally resisted the urge to buy any ereader thinking that it would never catch on and would NEVER be for me.

    I changed my mind because I met so many people through Twitter and through blogging who had released e-books. I wanted to read their books.

    I now find that I can read more in one sitting. The e-ink is easier on the eye, my eyes at least. And, when I read a 700 page thriller it doesn’t hurt my arthritic hands. It’s the same as a 100 page book of short stories.

    Win-win all round.

    I do think freedom of choice is still important and paper books should be available wherever possible to give the reader the option to choose.

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