Is It the End of Books as We Know Them?

Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve venerated books — yes, books.

I was that seventh-grader who painstakingly covered my textbooks with used grocery bags in an effort to protect them. And now I’m that adult who treats my book as if it were a one-of-a-kind antique that could shatter at any moment, never folding a page and never breaking a binding.

My passion for books may be rooted in the fact that I’m a writer, and every writer’s dream is to scribe a book that is as relevant to people in the future as J.R.R. Tolkien is today. But with everyone reading the news on BlackBerrys and iPhones, it begs the question: Will the book stand the test of time, or will it become a dinosaur of the past? While I know this technology transition ultimately is smarter and more economical, I still must drag my feet.

Already, many universities are digitizing textbooks, helping to ease lower back pain and make the cost of college less. But this change, probably more than any other, forces me to realize the age of books may be over. If those in academia can turn their backs on books, then won’t everyone else?

My first instinct was to bite my thumb — an insult from Shakespearean days — at Google Book Search

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