Libraries are history… again

A Kindle reader loaded with Augusten Burrough's Running With Scissors sits in front of stacks of the few remaining books in the Cushing Academy school library. By Josh T. Reynolds, USA TODAY
A Kindle reader loaded with Augusten Burrough's Running With Scissors sits in front of stacks of the few remaining books in the Cushing Academy school library. By Josh T. Reynolds, USA TODAY
A Kindle reader loaded with Augusten Burrough's Running With Scissors sits in front of stacks of the few remaining books in the Cushing Academy school library. By Josh T. Reynolds, USA TODAY

First it was the Internet. Then Google. Now e-readers.

Poor old libraries; what will become of the Dewey decimal system? And will librarian glasses continue to remain relevant in fashion circles?

I read with interest over the weekend about a New England school that has digitized its entire library. Many, according to the USA Today article at least, suggest it could be the first school to take the massive leap to e-books.

According to the headmaster (glad to see this exciting, movie-like title still in use):

“It was really to save libraries five, 10, 15 years down the road,” he says. “What the students are telling us is: ‘We’re not using the print books. You can keep giving them to us, but they’re just going to collect dust.’ So we’re saying, ‘Let’s be honest: Let’s give them the best electronic information available.’ ”

But not everyone is happily apparently. Some consider it sacrilege to read Hamlet, or The Zoo Story, or The Grapes of Wrath on a digital e-reader… if you can’t smell the book, are you really learning?

For those keeping score of the quickly burgeoning e-reader market, here’s the players:

Amazon Kindle (my pick)

  • Where to buy: Amazon (of course)
  • Price: $259
  • Advantage: Unparalleled selection of books, magazines, blogs (like SSC!). Whispernet wireless download.

Sony Reader Pocket Edition

  • Where to buy: SonyStyle USA
  • Price: $199
  • Advantage: Price. Industrial design and build quality. Open format. Available in pink (?).

Barnes and Noble nook

  • Where to buy: Barnes & Noble
  • Price: $259 (pre-order)
  • Advantage: 1M+ titles. Google Android OS opens possibilities. Color! Wi-fi.

Source: USA Today, School chooses Kindle; are libraries for the history ‘books’?

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