Do You Have a System?

Paul recently commented after reading my latest Monthly Reading Pool:

I have challenged myself to read a book from each shelf in the fiction section. … My goal is to pick at least one book from each shelf, and to do 2 shelves each trip (that way I can still get books on my regular reading list). … There are some obvious flaws in my plan (the library devotes 6 complete shelves to James Patterson).

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Now I have exposed various systems for selecting my monthly reading list through the years, most recently various schemes to transfer my reading from paper and ink books to digital reading with easier to read font sizes. I have also forced the inclusion of a few “real” books in an effort to reduce the large numbers of books I had to move and find bookshelves for at my new home.

Notice that these systems are mostly concerned with storage space, failing eyesight, and the inevitable onset of death.

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Practical Digital Reading

download-2.jpgDo you suppose the world will ever run out of books to read?

Probably not but I am more and more concerned about the future of paper and ink (physical) books in our future culture. I say this with three things in mind:

  • We have the technology available to us which will duplicate and even improve upon the paper and ink format;
  • We have the delivery systems in place that will allow distribution of reading matter in a matter of seconds;
  • The technology of today will more than likely be considered primitive in just a few short years.

I know there is a large population out there that needs to have their fix of moldy old tomes, savoring the aroma even before ogling the frontispiece. I expect that if smell is important, they’ll develop an app for it. Even today the apps for reading digital books recreate the physical experience with some accuracy if not tactilely sufficient, but the digital readers add so much more.

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