14 October 2010
pip pip cheerio and all that sort of rot!
well, dear reader, you will be happy to know that after months of slogging away on this blog, from coming up with a trendy, hip name that has its finger on the pulses of the literary, publishing and librarial (is that a word?) worlds to keeping abreast on the latest news on the death of reading, books, and the alphabet, comes news from across the pond . . . books are worth keeping.
well, if you have a governmental entitlement to keeping them. the bodlein library of the university of oxford has a brand, spanking new, state-of-the-art book storage facility. yes, yes, it's true! for 26 million pounds ($41.6 million US bucks!), you too can have 153 miles of shelving that can hold over 8 million volumes. yes, 8 MILLION! it's the ultimate in weeding!! every librarian who's any librarian is building one.
but, wait, you say? the book is dead, long live the e-book. who needs shelves when i have a laptop, kindle, nook, iPad? well, apparently, the BRITISH need books. not only do they need them, they look like they want to KEEP them. *sigh*
well, i thought, this is just an anomaly, the british being their usual contrarian selves, going against the grain, incorrigible as they are wont to be. then, i see THIS! an article in the UK Independent newspaper entitled "The 50 best bookshops." FIFTY??!! there are at least 50? are there even 50 left in the US? The 50 best bookshops implies that there are actually more than 50 bookshops to choose from. who knew??
well, there you have it. my dogged research just confirms our suspicions that the british are clearly stuck in a time warp of their own choosing, while americans are light years ahead of them with their bookless libraries and their e-readers and their 23rd ranking in literacy rate (the UK is #9). i'm just sayin'
happy reading . . . no matter the format!