Real library vs virtual library?

Some time ago, 3 months to be exact, I had some spare time in my hands pending work deployment. Not only I had lots of time to read some of the best written novels, I was also able to re-organise my own library. It’s not that big. Only 3 book cases stuffed to the brim with all kinds of books. There is another bookcase inside my bedroom also filled with books. It reminds me of Sultana at Peace Centre. Link 

Over the years, my small library keeps adding up making my collection bigger and bigger. If I did not give away some of the books to friends after reading them, it would have been worst – inundated with books all over the place just like Lohcifer’s place when he sent me pictures of his tons of books. Most of the books were given by my good friend Lohcifer though. Link He got rid of his books thru me! It goes like this – he’d pass me those books he finished reading. I’d read them and then pass them on to Datuk Freddie. Link I wouldn’t want them back. I’d tell him to pass them to his friends or keep them. He’s got a big office to keep those books. I don’t have that luxury.

In my personal library, I keep those rare books which are out of print, first edition books, personally autographed or signed by authors themselves amongst others. The rest I had to discard.

I’m referring to those obsolete books such as Palm OS and Windows CE textbooks which are huge and occupy precious space. Both belong to a bygone era and they are dead now. Thick bulky dictionaries are also deadwood need to be discarded. Who uses a hardcover dictionary nowadays when you could easily goggle for any difficult, rare, unusual word? I was born in the pre-internet and smartphone era where hard copy books were highly treasured. Not anymore. Times have changed indeed.

When my friend Eunice commented that why maintain a library when we could have books in digital format? If you want to read any book, just download it from the net? Save space. Can always bring your digital books anywhere on your smartphone. Like I say, I belong to that generation where hard copy books are treasured. Until today, I just can’t get used to reading books on my smartphone or that little kindle. It just doesn’t kindle my reading interest lah!

Having a few quality collection of books in your cosy home not only add as embellishments to your living room decor but also a talking point for your book lover visitors. How could your ebook collection on your smartphone achieve these twin objectives?

Reading defines the man. It’s a measure of his intellect. Let’s hear from a great English writer…

I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book! — When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.

Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.

Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

The problem is that the internet generation is so immersed with everything virtual. From virtual library, ebooks to virtual friends, virtual chats, virtual lovers and relationships especially those online gamers. Taking a cab or ordering fast food using apps on their smartphones etc instead of walking out of the house to hail a cab at kerbside or to the eatery to buy their food!

My short note on library clearly illustrates the wide divide in terms of lifestyle and outlook in life between them and us. Obviously, people of my generation are of the dinosaur era about to go extinct or getting irrelevant in this new brave world?

Click here to read library essentials.

About Gintai_昇泰

I'm a Chinese Singaporean living in the Eastern part of Singapore. I tweet on current affairs & inspirational quotes. I blog on issues or events if they interest me. I write for pleasure. I also write mainly for my family and friends.
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2 Responses to Real library vs virtual library?

  1. Falkenried says:

    Dear Alan, there is no life without printed books, never has been and never will be. Reading (and understanding the novels we are reading) is some kind of a treasure, it is the link to our past, to our heritage. Without the immagination of stories our lives are empty. That`s why I am still collecting books, new ones, old ones. The smell of a long out-of-print book, finally found in an antiquarian book shop after years of searching – is it not like a vintage Balkan Sobranie 759?
    And no! We book lovers are not “people of the dinosaur era”, we are part of the heart of the EARTH.
    Warmest regards from Munich, Bavaria, Germany – Bodo
    PS: see you in a couple of weeks – just 6 to go.

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