It is an age old celebrated art form that many hold dear to their hearts. Works of Shakespeare, Emerson, Mark Twain, and Hemingway to name a few, and the lexicon of others offer a voice to the times they live in. Written word is a mirror society holds up in front of itself, and in many ways the literary arts have become the conscience of civilization. Books are celebrated, revered, and collected in large volumes in the great libraries across our planet. In some cases these masterworks are even protected under lock and key. In our modern times, literary works are now being stored in the digital medium. Each day there are less people who consider the written word as their chosen form of the literary medium. But many still believe that digital will never replace the tangible print of physical books, and it forever will be the sacred form of literary art.
Technology has made major advances in the literary genre. We now have books on tape and the works of all the great authors are now available on a tablet or other digital medium. Although these Technologies are educational and great for on-the-go entertainment, most believe they will never replace the physical book There are even many purists who believed these technologies will ruin literature as we know it. This statement could not be further from the truth If anything it has only augmented the literary world. It has also made many works once inaccessible easily obtained by many.
Many scholars of the Old Guard believe that books have a soul, and revere them with a sentiment almost religious in nature. It is true books have a smell, they have a feel, and when surrounded by a large collection one gets an ethereal feeling. A romantic feeling that seems to connect a person to times past and forgotten worlds. When one curls up with a book, puts on slippers, and grabs his or her pipe they can disappear from the world they know. I’m not so sure this feeling is offered when reading a novel or poem from a tablet or other digital device.
Technology is a wonderful tool for Education, And it is great to have the works of the Masters at our fingertips. Although future generations will become more dependent on digital media for their literature, books and large libraries will never be replaced. Written word will only be augmented by technology. They may play a smaller role in our future, but the physical, and large libraries will always hold an important role in our civilization. There is, nor will there ever be, anything like the smell and feel of a book.