What’s the point of the library?, someone might question. Why take the burden to head there? Is it not all on the Internet?
Not all, the echoes answer me, not all. (I couldn’t resist.) But virtually anything I might read happens to be so, freely downloadable. Yet I visit libraries and even bookstores. And I order books online, just to receive the printed version.
If available, I even use printed dictionaries and thesauruses to assist with obscure language.
By similar reasoning, why listen to CDs, vinyls and tapes? Can one not squeeze several tens of thousands of hours of music on your smartphones micro-SD card? Though that being a ten-year old argument, today I might hear, can one not stream just about everything?
Then why head to music stores? Or vinyl conventions?
Why do any of these things? One immediate answer: I refrain from not only the internet, but even all-purpose computers in my life where I can tangibly do without them; if not benefit.
Further yet, I do without electronics where they confer no notable advantage. Electric toothbrush? No. A computer for generating prose? Notable advantage manifested in upwards of 500% throughput increase, so yes.
Why head on challenging hikes when we can stroll the nearby park? Why frequent the park when we can make rotations around the neighborhood? Why do that when you can smartwatch-track your steps around the house?
What more can I expound that shouldn’t already lend to countless avenues of imagination? Why go anywhere we aren’t compelled to?
All pandemic considerations aside, why physically meet up when virtual means can compensate?
Why do some of us cook, while some order nearly every meal online? Why do some choose to frequent local fairs for produce, while others acquire food products at the nearest supermarket? Why do some even leave the house to shop when (subject to country and city) delivery services exist?
Why do some cultivate own products in the backyard of a major city?
Why take the labor to prepare loose-leaf tea? Why grind every coffee cup when some machine can abstract the chore? Why bake own bread?
To an even further extreme, some leverage a smarthome phone app not to control appliances while out on a trip, but to avoid leaving the couch. That’s not likely the crowd I’ll expect at the local library.
But at the library, I can browse and discover silly things. I prefer the physical, not the clickable form of browsing. The other week my eyes passed by the Hamlet in Purgatory book cover, reasoning that he clearly deserves no better than some upper circle of Hell.
And there’s no substitute for book chats with librarians or store clerks, who are paid to pretty much attend to book affairs for the greater part of the day.
I’ve also continuously noted that virtually everything I’ve checked out in the recent year has felt crispy new. Somehow I don’t feel much reading interest in my materials. Or perhaps the modern library trend comprises mainly of children’s books for the toddlers and DVDs for the adults?
Some of us seek no pragmatic end to justify certain affairs we undertake. That’s what makes this game livelier and diverse.
Questions, comments? Connect.