In Our Parents’ Bookshelves

The Millions has a great essay about one difference between conventional books and electronic books that we may not have considered. You can learn a lot about someone by seeing what books they've kept. Perusing someone's bookshelf can lead to great conversations as you see what interests they have and what you might have in common. The author discovered his own mother as a person who had a life before he came along by noting the books she read, still displayed on bookshelves in his grandparents' home.
And then there was my wife, whose bookshelves I first inspected in a humid DC summer, while her parents were away at work. The shelves were stuffed full of novels—Little House on the Prairie, The Andromeda Strain, One Hundred Years of Solitude—that described an arc of discovery I had followed too. At the time we met, her books still quivered from recent use and still radiated traces of the adolescent wonder they’d prompted. In the years since, on visits home for the holidays and to celebrate engagements and births, I’ve watched her bookshelves dim and settle. Lately they’ve begun to resemble a type of monument I recognize from my mother’s room. They sit there waiting for the day when our son will be old enough to spend his own afternoons puzzling out a picture of his mother in the books she left behind.

With the availability of e-readers and books on the internet, will anyone ever know what the next generation will find important to read and to keep? Link -via Metafilter

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I will only get an e-reader if I’m forced to at gunpoint.

I love the act of holding a book (especially hardcover) in my hands. I love hearing the soft crack of the spine as you open it. It love the act of turning a page. And I adore the way books look as they sit on my shelf and whisper, “Pick me!” when I walk by.
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It'll the same but different. E-readers + social networks mean that you'll not only be able to "browse" your shelves, you'll be able to browse your friends' shelves, dip into samples, etc. I've seen library sharing apps on Facebook, etc., I just haven't seen it hooked into e-readers like my Kindle.
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Bologna. People said the same when CDs and Records went the way of the dinosaur.
But now we have last.fm and a way better sense of what our friends are listening to.
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don't know about the US but in germany where i live books are extremely expensive. it goes from 8 euro for a soft cover book (not a bestseller, just regular) up to 30 euro. there is no way a student can afford to buy all the books s/he would love to read, just like that in a store, without knowing whether s/he would like it. the funny thing is that they sell official e-books online for the same prise, which is ridiculous. readers like me are forced to get ebooks (well, you know how). getting a book for birthdays and such is considered an expensive present. sure books should be valued, but they also should be accessible. i would not be surprised if bookshelves get extinct here pretty soon.

by the way, in japan they sell soft-cover books for 3 euro.

back on topic, i think people can as well check out what you've read looking at your ebook reader history etc. also, you can compare your lists everywhere :)

ps: sorry for my poor english
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I go through my own unique journey when I read any good book. That experience cannot never be fully understood by another, because each person has their own vision of the story. The book itself becomes a souveneir.
I have never found any interest in e-books for recreational reading. I do, however, rather like the idea of a Kindle for textbooks. :-)
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