Wednesday, 13 November 2019

Libraries

They'll soon become a thing of the past. Why bother using them anyway? It's all on the internet, right? Who wants to get up, put their shoes and jacket on, walk all the way down the street in the cold, rain and dark to go into a building whose soul purpose is to lavish stories of wonder and life-long experience on you for free? A place that's quiet, peaceful, thought-provoking, and staffed by friendly people whose job is to help you find the book or information you want. Why bother? It's all on the internet. Sure, your view is kind of obstructed by myriad ads for things you don't want or need, slowed down by lag, and the occasional eye strain headache, but it's there, isn't it? Sure you might forget to actually look for the thing you were looking for while distracted by a picture of a cat on a treadmill or Boris Johnson on a unicycle. Or you might just occasionally think, 'ach, I'll just jump on the old facebook or youtube to entertain myself first' and before you know it it's 5am and you're dehydrated and thinking, "what the hell just happened to the last 12 hours?" Who wants to have to actually hold a lump of paper mulch and turn the pages - what an effort! Much easier to scroll. Apart from the repetitive strain injury of course. And then you have to find a bookmark, and remember when the book's to go back. Who wants that hassle? If something's free it's worthless, right? If something's free it's worthless.
Clementinum in Prague, Czech Republic
Libraries should be protected and expanded, not shrunk or suffer reduction in opening hours. In this day and age of spiritual and creative desertification it's imperative that we ensure that the last bastions of hope, adventure, knowledge, discovery, peace & quiet, wisdom, self expression and thought are preserved. If everything becomes digitised it'll become characterless ones and zeros. Humanity will take another step towards the electronic abyss and drown itself in a River Styx of Google ads for six packs and Nikes. Libraries are universes within universes. Words are thoughts.

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