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Old 07-28-2008, 08:38 AM   #8
stxopher
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Location: Wichita, KS
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Well, one would assume that he is a "book expert" and like most "experts" in their fields they truly love what they are doing. Probably to a point that anything that infringes or is perceived as a threat is bad.

I would agree from reading the article that he IS a "book expert" (one who is an expert on books). But there is the problem. We don't need reviews by "book experts" but by "reading experts" since most of us get a dedicated reader for its ability to present material to READ. We see the reader as a means to an end and not the end itself.

As more and more of the dedicated readers are making their way out in the world, it seems that it's getting easier to spot these types of book lovers. They're the ones who take pride and comfort in their collection of books, finely bound and prominently displayed. Children will not be allowed to look at them. Nor will teens. Or adults. (Sadly the only ones who will ultimately enjoy them will be the mice eating out the backs of them.) Most of them will be unread or read enough to pass in basic conversation. Some time with these people and it will be realized that it's the books themselves and not the contents, the ideas inside that they love.

Not that a good book isn't a wonderful thing. I feel sure that we all covet certain books and would take great pride in having them on our shelves. But for most of us it would be a splendid packaging of an idea (ideally in beautiful paper, crisp typeface and some sort of cover that fits the contents) and not a beautiful package that has some ideas in it.

The reader is really taking the place of the paperback at my home, not the place of my cherished books. As I can replace paper with data, I have more room and reason to collect genuinely nice hardbound editions of books that I can point to with pride and say "this is a good book", lend to friends, share with kids (if appropriate), and just have because they are great ideas in a splendid packaging.

Hmmm, it might be time for new terminology. Previously, a "book expert" also meant "reading expert" simply because to read required physical books. Now the act of reading and the physical manifestation of the book can be separated and an expert/lover in one area does not automatically imply fair standing in the other.
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