Thursday, July 19, 2007

Other Times Books

Until finding the article linked above (click the title of this post) I'd never heard of Andrew Dowdy or his shop, Other Times Books. It sounds like it was a wonderful place.

The realizations that Mr. Dowdy came to, regarding books in this byte-based age, ring all too true. It's something that crosses my mind every single day. I'm a big fan of digital information. I've even gone as far as rationalizing that Bonnett's is a book store because print was the only portable format for data when the doors opened in 1939. There are many more options now, many of which require no permanent product for the end-user at all, so long as we have smart devices that can interpret our favorite data files.

But what happens to our data if something catastrophic happens and there's no power left to run the devices and digitally deliver the data?

Paper lasts a long time. Generations. Long enough to be memorized, copied, re-copied, distributed, handed down, stored, and safe-guarded.

The Dead Sea Scrolls, the works of Da Vinci, Shakespeare, Beethoven, Mozart, and the Constitution of the United States of America have all survived for a very long time on paper. Perhaps the Constitution isn't doing so well, but that's another matter that has little to do with the paper it's on.

We may make room for newer forms of information and entertainment from time to time, but as long as there is a Bonnett's Book Store there will be books on our shelves.