Comment by H3xx on February 20, 2014 at 7:09pm
You do have to have a current piece of mail and an id to join however.
Comment by Gallup's Mirror on February 20, 2014 at 9:08pm

I love books. There is nothing quite like a big, well-funded library with a huge selection of new and classic books and periodicals.

I visit my local library almost every day. But sometimes I miss the world-class library of my college days. The W.E.B. Du Bois Library at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, at 28 stories high, is the 2nd tallest library and the tallest university library in the world. It has more than 3.6 million volumes, 80,000 online journals, 700,000 e-books, and over 200 databases. 

I spent countless hours in this building. My favorite thing: load up on books about all kinds of subjects-- often for coursework, but often not-- until I can't carry any more. Then, go to a high floor, find a quiet little nook and read. Once in a while, I look out at the countryside and sip hot coffee from a thermos I smuggled in. Ah!

There is something extraordinary about being surrounded by millions of books; knowing you are literally in a towering monument to the sum total of human knowledge. Anything you want to know about is there and it's all free.

There's more wonder to be found in a truly great library than anything you'll ever read in a Bible.

Comment by bongani muthwa on February 21, 2014 at 5:53am

I love books, I love reading, but I am little bit scared that the books may eventually be extinct. With e-books and the digital revolution. I love the feel of carrying the book, baptising myself deep in "the sum total of human knowledge" as Gallup' Mirror has put it, Give me books , give me knowledge. To me @ Reg The Fronkey Farmer any library is an Atheist Temple

Comment by Reg The Fronkey Farmer on February 21, 2014 at 6:06am

I use e-books for reference but I prefer to turn a page than swipe a screen when it comes to reading "proper" books. I need to feel the paper and then of course there is the smell of the paper.

I read whenever I can. There are always a few books on the go in my home.

Comment by Simon Paynton on February 21, 2014 at 7:28am
Comment by Gallup's Mirror on February 22, 2014 at 4:16am

I love books, I love reading, but I am little bit scared that the books may eventually be extinct. With e-books and the digital revolution.

@bongani: There are two bits of good news that may cheer you up:

The first is that the number of people reading e-books is climbing (17% in 2011, to 23% in 2012, to 28% in 2014) but this has no observable impact on the number of people who read print books (which remained almost constant over the same period).

The second is that people are reading more. In one poll by USA Today, 41% said they are reading more after getting an e-reader device.

In other words, people are reading e-books on snazzy new tablets, e-readers and cellphones, but they're still reading print books too. The new market (so far) is not significantly displacing the old one.

Speculating here, e-books may be making the entire book market (print books and e-books) bigger by removing barriers to reading. Maybe people are reading more because they no longer have to make a trip to the library or bookstore to get a book.

The United States is not the entire world and the trend may not last forever, but I find this to be encouraging news, especially considering how quickly DVDs replaced video cassettes, and flat panels replaced CRT monitors. People just like books.

Comment by bongani muthwa on February 24, 2014 at 7:02am

@Gallup's Mirror it does give comfort to one, and a hope that at least people DO read.

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