… are greatly exaggerated,” nearly said Mark Twain.

It turns out that we like books. Not “books” that have on/off buttons and high-res screens and oodly gigablarghs of storage, no! Books that have no electricity at all and would be instantly recognizable to a time traveling Johannes Kepler.

Book sales in general were more or less flat in 2015, but print book sales increased, at the expense of e-book sales.

little_library

These folks are landscaping around the brand-new “My Little Library” in my hometown. This little box is giving me and a lot of other people pleasure. Books come and go, and the mix of titles inside that box is always changing. I think everyone in the neighborhood justifiably feels a smidgen of ownership in it, from the frat houses to student apartments to the church on the corner.

Egon Spengler: “Print is dead.”

Janine Melnitz: “That’s fascinating to me. I read a lot, myself.”

I’m a fellow that uses a computer a fair amount. And yet, I, too, am thoroughly enraptured by bound paper volumes. I can appreciate the “greenness” and efficiency of e-book readers, and yet, in the dappled bliss of a sunny afternoon with my back to a tree and the faraway laughter of children floating on the air, it is the humble book that completes the perfection of the picture.

Furthermore, as a gateway to literacy, the book is unmatched by virtue of its low technological quotient and also the modern day reality that books are cheap (mind you, authors often wish they were a bit pricier!). Nifty ideas like My Little Library help bring the joy of reading to people that might otherwise miss out, extending the public library concept to neighborhood corners.

So whether you are a screen addict or have a paper fetish, whether you like potboilers or nonfiction, and whether you prefer begging the question or making false dichotomies, I wish you:

Happy reading!

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