I had an interesting conversation with my husband last night that bears consideration. He is a techno-geek so he lusts after the latest computer gadgetry introduced by Apple the way most men lust after women in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition. I guess I'm lucky. When the iPad, which I still thinks sounds like a feminine hygiene product, was introduced he began waxing philosophical about it. It will change everything, according to my husband. It will revolutionize the classroom. This is his Dean of Students and Professor side talking. And, I don't doubt he's right on this front. Yesterday a bunch of text book publishers signed on with iPad. Goodbye hefty textbooks that weigh down college students' backpacks and bank accounts. I have no love lost for this idea, as both a professor and soon-to-be grad student. What I did take issue with was his claim that bookstores would be a thing of the past. What?!
Now, I'm no Luddite. I love me some Apple technology. I am glued to my Mac Book or iPhone most minutes of any hour, but I will never stop reading books. You know, books. Made of paper, ink and glue. I don't think I'm alone here either. My husband got defensive and said that he wasn't calling for the end of all paperbacks, he is simply acting as oracle. Look at the DVD and the CD. Look at the disappearance of chain record stores. Even our own legendary music store here in Louisville, Ear X Tacy, which has been around since I was a teenager, is cutting back it's stock. Of course my husband has a point, but I do think book lovers are a tenacious group. We love our books so much we will be buried with them. Going to a bookstore and browsing through the stacks is as close to a religious experience that I'm going to get, and that's after working in one for six years. I love the feel and smell of books. I love turning the pages. I can't imagine reading to my kids on an iPad. It's just not the same thing, despite all of the technological advantages (links, uploads/downloads, videos, games, etc. etc.). There is something intimate about holding a book. It's a personal relationship between the reader and the text that I feel is lost on the screen. Because this is an emotional topic for me, I cannot deny my husband's foresight, but I can resist it.