Belle of Liberty

Letting Freedom Ring

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Closing of the Borders

In 48 B.C., after Julius Caesar set fire to his ownships to thwart Achillas’ attempts to raid the city of Alexandria, the city’s Royal Library of Alexandria, constructed in the 3rd Century B.C., was accidentally burned down.

In 793, the Vikings burned the monastery at Lindisfarne (an island off the northeast coast of England) including its library.

During World War II, Adolph Hitler held bonfire burnings of books considered antithetical to the Third Reich. began to change the way people bought, and eventually read books. Borders Books initially had a deal with Amazon to sell books online, but something apparently went wrong and the store launched its own e-line. Meanwhile released its first generation of the Kindle e-reader in November 2009, marking a milestone in the way people read.

For whatever reasons, whether it was because they got too late into the e-reading game, they had too many stores, or their prices were too high and couldn’t compete with Amazon, Borders is going out of business.

Borders has been around for a long time. Waldenbooks was around longer, until Borders and K-Mart bought them out. Business is just that way; the bell-curve simply doesn’t allow for business eternity anymore than it allows all students to go home with perfect report cards.

Still, the disappearance of this brick-and-mortar, ink-and-paper bookstore is disturbing. Not just because the economy is in dreadful straits. People already aren’t reading. They’re not certainly can’t afford to buy books with the unemployment rate skyrocketing.

Electronic books appear to be the wave of the future. You can pull up any of 100,000 books from Wattpad for free. A great way to read Obama’s self-promotion books without paying for them. For people who want their homes clutter-free, the e-book is a space-saving device.

At the same time bookstores like Borders are going under, so are some public libraries. Due to lack of funding, they’re closing their doors and casting off their books. To those keeping their eye on library close-outs, this is a boon. To those, however, who can’t turn their home into a library, the public library has been a safe repository for history.

How long will that last, however? With brick-and-mortar bookstores and libraries closing due to financial problems, we book lovers depend on the online bookstores. The prices are fantastic but you have to hope you have a big enough house to hold them.

As with all technological advances, the e-book is a fantastic invention. But it has its drawbacks and a potential for an unfortunate transformation to all-electronic books. What happens if a future government pulls the plug? Or a provider, like a library (and it has happened) decides it doesn’t pay to carry a particular genre (like Conservative Politics or the French Revolution)? In Borders this morning, there was nary a sight of book on the history of the French Revolution – not even an empty space on the shelf where such books might have been. They also only had one of the main mainstay books of Conservative thought on hand.

No Milton Friedman (Hayek was there) or Whittaker Chambers. Probably they’re available online. But will the public library or the college library have some of the history books Ann Coulter cited in Demonic?

The way our history is going, if there are no libraries, or only selective libraries that exclude certain genres, we bookworms will be reduced to becoming Book Ladies, with aisles of books cluttering our homes. My brother has a great big, empty house, occupied only by him and my 23 year old nephew, on his way to a graduate engineering degree, but really pining to study history and politics, so I know where my books will be going. They often see the books I have, ask to take them, and never return them, so I won’t even have to beg them to store the books.

History and knowledge of Western civilization as we know it are in grave danger of being thrown on the ash heap of history. The day may not be far off even when the Book Police will raid our houses for "subversive" Conservative materials.  Like the Vandals of old, Progressivism is slowly closing the borders of our minds to the truth and returning us to that savage state where only the priests of state are privy to the wisdom of the ages and the illiterate masses must take their word for everything.


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home