Fans of Norah Lofts discussion

OFF Topic > No books, no libraries?

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message 1: by Peggy (new)

Peggy (peggy908) | 893 comments Just curious what your thoughts are concerning the future with the influx of e-readers and the changing role of our public libraries.

How long do you think it will take for books (as we know them) to become obsolete? How will this affect income for authors? No more antique roadshows with first editions worth thousands?

Last time I went to the library, the parking lot was full but I didn't see anybody browsing the books--they were all seated at computers browsing the internet. What do you see as the role of libraries in the future? Will we even have buildings called libraries?

message 2: by Sherry (new)

Sherry | 122 comments I think it will take ten to twenty years or more for books to become obsolete. I am in no hurry to purchase an ereader.

Folks I know who are publishing ebooks are still collecting royalties on the ebooks sold. I think the profit is smaller, though.

I also think libraries will continue to function as resources.

message 3: by Sallie (new)

Sallie | 308 comments Just not the same - I agree they will be resources rather than places to find a new/good old one/something to curl up with on the couch.

message 4: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (sema4dogz) | 2131 comments I don't ( tho it may be wishful thinking ) think the actual phsysical book will, in the foreseable future at any rate, be obsolete. It's a different experience from the ereader to my mind, not a substitute or replacement. Think how they predicted the absolute downfall of the movie theatre when videos first came out .....

message 5: by Sherry (new)

Sherry | 122 comments Having thought about it a little more, I don't see public schools investing in ereaders for all students, not do I imagine they will require all students to purchase one (not at current prices).

message 6: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (sema4dogz) | 2131 comments Very true. Mind you , here in Australia, and I;m sure in the States too, there is growing requirement for all students , even quite little ones to have their own computer.

message 7: by Sherry (new)

Sherry | 122 comments I think there is the expectation that most student homes have a computer, but it certainly is not a requirement; I don't think schools could get away with that, since the guarantee here is to "free education."

message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

My son was required to have a computer at the Academy and all work was turned in via them. In order to save time they typed everything rapidly with no capitalization. I tried to get used to it but it was too hard. However, this new laptop is doing it quite often for me.

I guess I am getting old as the thought of an ereader replacing a real book is simply beyond me. Our library recently sent out a flyer asking this very question. I still go to the library mainly to check out books and can't see doing anything different. I really like owning books. A librarian here told me the Colorado Springs library system has a bigger circulation than Boston! People here still check out reams of books. I sure hope it never changes.

message 9: by Sherry (new)

Sherry | 122 comments I love books. They feel "cozy" to me. I have a couple of hundred or more. Lately, I buy whatever I want, including those for Book Club.

message 10: by [deleted user] (new)

Sherry wrote: "I love books. They feel "cozy" to me. I have a couple of hundred or more. Lately, I buy whatever I want, including those for Book Club."

Hi Sherry, I have about 300 books (rough count)and my husband has even more. I am trying to cut back on buying but can't seem to help myself. That is great that you buy whatever you want.

How many did NL write I wonder? I believe I own about 53 of her books.


message 11: by Sherry (new)

Sherry | 122 comments I had no idea she had written so many!

message 12: by Barbara (last edited Feb 27, 2011 11:41PM) (new)

Barbara (sema4dogz) | 2131 comments

This is a good list Sherry ( tho I think I remember that they have incorrectly listed Women in the NT as fiction)

I;m sure we have posted it before , but it has gone AWOL as lots seems to be doing on this board recently !

message 13: by Sherry (new)

Sherry | 122 comments Thank you, Barbara. I have not read her books on the Queens; I tend to prefer fiction, silly as that may be.

message 14: by Peggy (new)

Peggy (peggy908) | 893 comments I remind myself that a few hundred years ago, people were probably saying nothing will take the place of a good scroll, lol!

I can see some benefits of the e-readers. Less natural resources used--no trees, no ink, no machinery to produce books, no fuel to haul them to the bookstores. No warehouses needed for storage.

message 15: by Sylvia (new)

Sylvia (sylviab) | 1361 comments BEWARE! I just went meticulously through the list of NL books listed at FantasticFiction noted on post 13, and it is FULL of mistakes. They list 75 titles, and I am ALMOST positive that there are 62 NL titles, if the duplicate titles are not counted. They take corrections, so I am going to try to get them to make them. They also put several of her non-fictions in the fiction list, and have misplaced several of the short story collections.

I would be happy to make a new thread of all the NL titles in alphabetical order (with the duplicate titles to the side) if you think it would be helpful, but I would request that the list be left as a single entry - no posts following, so that it would be totally for reference.

My opinion of the future of libraries is that they will continue to provide a vast collection of all forms of information in perpetuity, and I expect that books as we know and love them will be around for at least hundreds of years, but I think society will slowly accomodate to new forms of information preservation such as electronic books, and future generations will slowly phase out the old forms except as historic examples. I also see the current world economy as a dangerous time for libraries, causing many to close their doors.

The Library in Alexandria, Egypt was established about 300 BC. It housed 400,000 scrolls! It was destroyed in stages beginning with Julius Caesar in 47 BC and was completely destroyed by 400 AD. Can you imagine how those patrons felt when they saw the destruction?

During the fall of the Egyptian dictator recently, I was touched to see footage of young Egyptians linking arms and surrounding the museum in Cairo to protect it from looting. Some destruction had already occurred, and they were determined to protect their history.

message 16: by Sallie (new)

Sallie | 308 comments Oh, Sylvia, I would be most grateful for an alphabetical list! And especially for the duplicate titles on the side.

message 17: by Werner (last edited Mar 01, 2011 03:07PM) (new)

Werner | 684 comments Over in another group I'm in, we're currently having a discussion of the same subject (though not with direct reference to libraries); and the overwhelming consensus is that we like paper books, don't view e-books as complete replacements for them, and don't ever expect the demise of paper books. As long as there's a demand for them, there will be presses to print them. It's not the sort of thing, as with some products, where a small oligopoly of producers can make sure that production costs elbow all competition out of the market, and then reduce product choice to nil in order to cut overhead with economies of scale. With books, the labor and materials cost isn't that high, so small presses have no problem entering the market and functioning quite well. Ironically, the computer revolution actually helps in that respect; POD technology and Amazon are boons to the book trade and especially to small presses. Eventually, a concerted attempt by the political class to suppress and outlaw printed books is possible, depending on how far and how rapidly our political systems in the West degenerate into totalitarian technocracy; but I think even then there will be widespread resistance.

Libraries as we know them are more problematical, because as Sylvia pointed out the economic situation of today's world isn't very favorable for them. They will survive, I think, to exactly the extent that the decisions about their survival are made by people who care about the printed word and see it as having real practical value that justifies the expense of keeping libraries running. Unfortunately, those aren't the typical kind of people we have running our local governments, or our big "McEducation" credentials factories. It's worth remembering that "public" libraries in the U.S. historically began as subscription libraries, paid for by the annual dues of the readers who wanted to use them (and were responsible to those readers, not to the government). The shift to government control, ironically, was greased by the promise that tax funding was going to be a wonderful cornucopia of limitless dollars for library services (that magically wouldn't cost us a dime --even though we all pay taxes). Obviously, the reality wasn't so rosy. We may come to a time when the original model will be re-visited, and when the libraries that survive will do so because they shift back to it and cast their lot with the grass roots. I for one would be more than willing to pay my share to maintain a library (that collects and lends books!).

In conclusion, I can't help but observe that I'm old enough to remember that microfilm and microfiche were once supposed to replace the "obsolete" paper book. Now they're obsolete, and paper books are still here.

message 18: by MaryC (new)

MaryC Clawsey | 704 comments Sherry wrote, "I tend to prefer fiction, silly as that may be." Not silly at ALL! Think of all the great truths one learns, the insights one acquires, from reading fiction--and other Literature with a capital L. I inwardly roll my eyes when I hear someone say, rather proudly, "I don't read fiction"; but just in the last minute or so a good response came to me : "Are you sure?"

message 19: by Sylvia (last edited Mar 01, 2011 09:14PM) (new)

Sylvia (sylviab) | 1361 comments I would like to add to Mary's and Sherry's comments that reading fiction is a very pleasurable way of gaining knowledge in spelling, grammar, history, people, and really any subject. Good fiction is super educational!

Werner, I love your phrase "McEducation credentials factories" - LOL! The idea of returning to subscription libraries may already be happening. Our local library, only 5 minutes away, but in the next county, is now charging us $15 a year for a card, even though we pay our school taxes in their district. To use a library for free, we now have to drive 30 minutes.

I have posted the promised alphabetical listing of NL's titles. But I would like to take back my suggestion in message 16 above that nobody post after that list. I got to thinking "where else would we put corrections and other pertinent comments", and I know you will find some mistakes, especially with my crossed and swirly vision! Since the list is the first message in that thread, I don't think it will get confusing. I tried to do some extra spacing, especially when the info went into two lines, but it wouldn't let me indent the second line. I'm sorry it isn't better spaced for easier reading.

message 20: by Barbara (last edited Mar 01, 2011 11:45PM) (new)

Barbara (sema4dogz) | 2131 comments Dear people what a lovely thread - Sherry I think your preference for fiction is anything but silly, ( well, I share it, so I would wouldn't I!) .Isn't there an exchange in a Jane Austen somewhere where someoene says she is reading 'only' a novel and someone else says oh yes, 'only' the best that has been put together about human lives and frailties and values and on so and so forth. I remember feeling very vindicated by it.

Sylvia thank you so much for the list info . I wasn't very discerning with the fantastic fiction link and didnt realise it was so deficient. Wonderful to have 'one of us' put it right

message 21: by Peggy (new)

Peggy (peggy908) | 893 comments Barbara, I agree, all the insights have been great! Thanks so much to everyone for sharing.

Yesterday, I had the thought that perhaps "real" books might become very expensive to purchase. Also that the opportunity to share your written words through the internet does open up the field tremendously and not just limit it to the judgment of a publishing company.

Doesn't Goodreads provide the opportunity for members to share their own short stories and books?

Sylvia, thanks for the wonderful list. I have printed it out and marked the ones I haven't read. It is so good to know what the alternate titles were.

message 22: by Gillian (new)

Gillian | 7 comments I'm new on this board - I LOVE NORAH LOFTS TOO! I think there will always be a need for public libraries. I don't see a downside to alternative media. I, of course, have read print books forever, but I just got an ereader for Christmas and finally see what all the fuss is about. It is so handy to have many books all in one place, since I read several books at once.

My library also offers downloads of ebooks and audio books (good for exercising). Unfortunately, I can only find 3 Norah Lofts ebooks, and I already have hardbacks of those.

I haven't found the list of NL books yet, but I will be looking for that next. I think I've read them all, but we shall see.

message 23: by Barbara (last edited Mar 28, 2011 04:16AM) (new)

Barbara (sema4dogz) | 2131 comments Hi Gillian!
If you mean Sylvia's list, click on 'Fans of Norah Lofts' top of this page, then click on 'Norah Lofts Titles' and there it is.

message 24: by Gillian (new)

Gillian | 7 comments Barbara wrote: "Hi Gillian!
If you mean Sylvia's list, click on 'Fans of Norah Lofts' top of this page, then click on 'Norah Lofts Titles' and there it is."

Thanks, Sylvia

I found it and it looks like there is 1 book I haven't read (or heard of for that matter)

message 25: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (sema4dogz) | 2131 comments Glad you found it ,and glad there is a new unknown for you. Always a pleasure isn't it!

message 26: by Gillian (new)

Gillian | 7 comments Yes indeed. What a wonderful feeling to anticipate a "new" book by a favorite author. The book is Walk Into My Parlor. I just looked it up on Amazon, but I see I read it long ago from the library. SIGH!

message 27: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (sema4dogz) | 2131 comments Yes, empathic sigh...

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