Will The Printed Word Survive?

I have joined a fantastic group of ladies, who are involved in a weekly blog project. Every Thursday, we will dazzle you with our insight on various topics. And each week, we take turns coming up with the idea for the blog topic. Please check out their blogs as well, listed under my Blogroll section. Just click on:

Froggie (Tracey): One frog’s distinct voice on the world around her.

Merry Land Girl (Melissa): Tales of a suburban mom who likes to talk about pop culture, books, Judaism, family, friendship and anything else that comes to mind.

Mom Of Many (Susanna): One Mom’s perspective on life, raising kids, knitting and other unrelated topics.

My son Ben is a very adventurous reader. He often relaxes on the couch, reading chapter books (his favorites are the Magic Tree House series: Jack and Annie books, by  Mary Pope Osborne, Natalie Pope Boyce, and Will Osborne). He’s an advanced reader, currently involved in a special reading group at his school. I’m always so proud of him, and I feel a strong kinship with Ben, since I also have a strong passion for books, and for reading.

Watching his nose pressed into a book prompted me to ask: Books, magazines, paper publications are all available for our perusal now online through the Internet, E-readers, etc. This poses a huge threat for our libraries and book stores. Where do you feel these technological advancements are headed? Will hard copies be a thing of the past? What are your feelings about our print future?

Like Ben, I was an early reader, already sounding out words at the age of 3. I was writing short stories and poetry at the age of 6. I recently found out (while bragging to my dad about his grandson’s reading ability) that my dad was also an early reader. Apparently, this runs in the family. All three of us grew up with a passion for books. I was reading practically whatever I could get my hands on. The library and used book stores were my best friends. I see this sort of drive in Ben, and the need and hunger for the words that fill his head.

Genetics may play a major role, but I contributed to Ben’s experiences. Since his birth, I read a book to him every night before bed. As he grew, this led to two or three books. We would always visit the library once a week, and he’d participate in baby and me classes, or toddler story time. I’d sign him up for the yearly reading programs, and he’d win prizes. It was fun for him, and it still is fun for him. He has his own library card, and attends the Legos At Your Library event they have each month, where children can build Legos and read Lego-related books.

Nolan also goes to the library, and we attend the baby and me classes, where he gets to sing in a circle with other babies/toddlers. Afterwards, we check out books. I’ve continued on this tradition, although he doesn’t sit as well as his big brother does, or did at that age.

Where will our children go without a library? A place to study? A time to be quiet, and to be reflective? There’s so much noise and chaos in the world as it is.

Libraries are so important. I can’t imagine a world without them. I won’t lie- I own a Nook. My husband bought one for me for my birthday this past year, and while I enjoy using it, it will never replace what a book feels like in my hands, while snuggled up under a blanket on a gray, cold day. I just finished a book using my Nook, and I am currently reading an “old-fashioned book”. I can switch between the two interchangeably.

Magazines run the same gamut for me. I’m one of those silly individuals who gets all excited when she receives a magazine in the mail. I know I can read the information on the computer, but there’s only so much of the computer I can take. I blog. I e-mail. I surf. I chat. My brain starts to go on overload. I want to be able to relax.

I’ve noticed that my local library has offered up books to read online, a handshake if you will to those who prefer computer over paper. I believe the library also has capabilities to upload books to an e-reader, like my Nook.  Many magazines are also offered up online.

My hope is that our libraries will go as far as they humbly can, when it comes to technological advancements, yet be able to hold onto their ideals. I will always want a place for my boys to read, and to learn.

Someday, I hope that they will be able to take their children and share in the joys, and continue our special tradition.

A funny comic regarding this topic:


I promised something fitness related with every blog topic I post; but since I’ve done back to back runs the past two days, I have decided to take today off!




2 thoughts on “Will The Printed Word Survive?”

  1. We have so much in common! I memorized books at age 3 and now my son is an advanced reader, ahead of his whole kindergarten class. Our boys should become pen pals. 🙂
    I’m glad we agree about the feel of a real book.
    Cute cartoon!

  2. I don’t think libraries will ever go away. I think that they are adapting to the changes in the printing environment. They will change, but I don’t think that they will ever go away. I have a friend that is a librarian, and she is helping to usher her library into the digital age.

    Hannah and Mac are both big readers! We would be broke if we didn’t have a library for them to get books. I remember Mac walking into the library here (we had read most of the “interesting” books in the 5 local libraries near us). He turned to me and said, Mom, I don’t think I’ll ever run out of things to read.

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