So, I think pretty highly of Craig Mod – he thinks deeply, expresses elegantly, and (this is an ego-driven reason to like, so what) we share a number of similar interests.
I love this article. I have one objection: we are no where near close to being able to provide eReaders en masse to poor children. This is a real consideration: books are the to my mind the most important tool disadvantaged children have for lifting themselves out of poverty. Free libraries matter – a lot. They are a cornerstone reason why free societies maintain their competitive edge – they provide a steady stream of new, fresh, engaged minds capable of achieving more than their parents. Without libraries – and their stacks upon stacks of free, paper books, this could not happen. It’s a big part of why oppressive societies – which would never dream of free libraries – never lift. They can’t.
In order to maintain this, we need to start supplying libraries with some form of check-outable eReader – there’s a market for a product like this that shuts down when it’s overdue and requires a librarian to rewake it.
I do think Craig’s points here are exciting – incredibly so. Freeing books from the bonds of a paper box gives storytellers a chance to evolve their art in a way they haven’t been able to do since Gutenberg (all hail his name) changed the world. The next revolution is here. I just want us to make sure it’s an inclusive one. Or ultimately, we’ll all suffer.