Books always have a place on my shelf

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The library is a wonderful place filled with information needed to guide you through any adventure imaginable.

Despite the arguments that libraries and bookstores are dying due to the introduction of tablets and electronic books, I would argue their role is just shifting.

Before coming to the Picayune Item, I worked at a library for two years. Never in the time I was there did we experience a decrease in patrons. The number of books checked out may have decreased with the ever-expanding presence of reference materials online, but every day, patrons would walk out loaded down with books.

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If anything, the Internet has allowed for better access to information.

Before the Internet, books and scholarly journals had to be purchased by the library in order for a patron to read them. Now, if the information isn’t online, it can easily be scanned by one library and sent to another for patron use.

I have an electronic reader, but nothing has stopped me from picking up a good paperback. My favorite places to buy books are at used bookstores or at library book sales.

After I buy a book, I think of that book’s journey. The condition of the book I purchase usually reflects the love bestowed on it from the previous owner.

Used books share more than just the stories the author intended, they sometimes tell the story of its owners.

Sometimes I’ll even stumble across one with a handwritten message from the previous owner’s friend or loved one inscribed on the inside cover.

In a 2010 episode of Doctor Who, the Doctor addresses the role of books in the future perfectly when he said, “Books. People never really stop loving books. Fifty-first century. By now you’ve got holovids, direct-to-brain downloads, fiction mist. But you need the smell. The smell of books, Donna. Deep breath!”