Here is why I am miffed... A few days ago while attending one of my neighborhood meetings, a neighbor asked me if I heard the latest news... "News??" I said, "What news?"... I was hoping it wasn't the latest town gossip, that I could most certainly do without. I was at the meeting on a mission, a mission to simply ensure that we are working together to make our neighborhoods safer, keep families together, discuss world peace... that sort of thing, but gossip? No time and no interest in my book.

Then she said "They've taken 90% of our books out of our library and have replaced them with DVD's, CD's, and video games". I'm sure my tonsils dried as my mouth hung open for what seemed like an eternity. What in the blankety blank blank did she mean that "They've taken 90% of our books??" And who ARE THEY?! And WHERE did OUR BOOKS GO???????

I just knew it was a joke. But it was true. I'm not sure about the rest of the U.S. or the world, but it seems that in my community, all of the books have been taken from the branch libraries and replaced with more "main stream" things that people want in their librarys such as books on CD, and more computers with internet access with limited chat room capabilities.

Maybe I'm a relic, but I think there is something special when there is an opportunity to disengage from electronics and take a nice book, sit somewhere in nature, or the library and just read. Touch the pages, smell the pages and let your mind enjoy something non-electronic. Are we so dadblasted busy and disconnected from the world around us, that we have to be plugged in all the time, to the point of having a book READ to us?

For me it isn't the same. I like having a book on CD from time to time, but it can be like riding a horse or driving a car, it's one thing to listen to someone describe it to me, versus me actually doing it. I want to say something, do something but what? Am I such a dinosaur?

Besides, have you seen how listless people become, the minute there isn't any electricity? It's like they go through withdrawal, no TV, no computer, no radio and they almost cease to move. Being engaged in reading books, doesn't cost alot but the value is endless.

I want to star the conversation about bringing the books back. It's a long and probably lost battle but I think it is a conversation worth having.

I welcome all of your ideas and feedback as to how to even attempt this conversation, but even if you have an opposing view, please share it.


Sun Fish

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I think this move is about more than just bringing in more technology. It is catering to the fact that younger generations -- just want a quick fix -- cosmetic approach to everything.

When they do their research -- they don't bother reading through books, understanding the material, digesting, thinking, analyzing. They just google -- and find the 1 or 2 lines they are looking for and then they copy and paste.

Have you tried having a long, intelligent conversation with young people -- nowadays. The other day I met with a 22 year old university student, who wanted to discuss his research. He has done much of it by watching documentaries and movies. He said who reads now? where's the time?

His thoughts, his research were similarly disconnected, and unconvincing. He asked me "where's the problem with my paper." I told him "Dear friend the problem is with how you are doing the paper. And till you fix you, your paper is going to be nothing but cyberspace trash."

Rita Banerji

Hello Rita,

You have definitely nailed it. Yes, those conversations are lacking something. I understand completely about your interaction with the 22 year university student. The other day I asked an 18 year to spell "late". She said "L8" as in the letter "L" and the number "8". It took her a minute to realize that in traditional writing, cyber text language isn't acceptable. (Who has time to actually write a word out in full???)

Look for the message in the mess!

Why do we really want it so easy when life is not easy? Why do we turn human beings into robots and why do we find it easier to accept any situation they corner us into in the name of technology? We do not have always have light in my area and I dread a time when there will be constant power for 24 hours a day in Nigeria, the little light given by generator has turned Nigerian youths to fraudsters, the best lies in the history of Nigeria came with the invention of mobile telephone where people will be in Abuja and will be saying they are in Owo, about 8 hours drive from where they are standing....

These advents are beautiful but the implications of all these should be attached to them, our children loves playing computer games etc, as long as it will keep them lazy...and the end result is with us here, gone are the days when books were called students companion, but now we want everything "Fast Food" fast lane, fast one wants to lift any finger....the faster we get to the end of it the better.....we are lover of books that is why we are complaining.......but we should think very deeply and we will discover that everything around has has being turn to easy and fast...everything...if there is a machine that will turn a day old baby to a graduate we will all buy it ....we love it fast but we cannot run faster than our African adage, the feet will always meet the ground in its front, we cant run faster than the ground we thread on.......

Easy life makes it hard for us to reason........or use our creative faculty....may be that is why we will not use 10% of our brain before we die.....

Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale Founder/Project Coordinator Star of Hope Transformation Centre 512 Road F Close Festac Town Lagos-Nigeria https:

Hello Olutosin....... I understand about the ability to deceive once technology makes it easier to do so. A colleague of mine was very angry with her teenager because he said he was one place, but when she linked their cell phones, she found him several miles away. An easy life can make it hard for us to reason!


Look for the message in the mess!

I am with you! I think that there is something so SPECIAL about books. Our information age brings many great things to the table and I am so glad we have the internet and videos etc but I dont think that they should take the PLACE of books, just be a compliment to them.

My friend has a spoken word piece that asks "where have all the elders gone, oh where have all the elders gone"- this post is making me think- "where have all the books gone, oh where have all the books gone". Our society seems to disregard books the same way we have begun to disregard elders. Both, however, hold very valuable information and wisdom and have a special allure to them that only they can contain....

Perhaps a spoken word piece about this issue is in order... Thank you for this post, the beginning of this discussion and the inspiration- hopefully it will spark something.

Much Peace,