Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Books are already kept under lock and key.

Access to journals is many journals is rationed to universities. If you're lucky you can find an ATHENS password somewhere, but otherwise if you're not an academic you can forget about reading JSTOR or anything else you can't buy at Borders.

Access to books that are out of print is also rationed to universities. If I want a copy of something scholarly that wasn't published recently, I have to go find a friendly local university and hope that they operate an open access scheme for outsiders.

This is likely to cost me money, and there's a reasonable chance I'm going to need to be formally ID'd by someone reputable, like a lawyer. (sic.)

Electronic readers are a stupid idea, and I don't think they're likely to last. I'd guess tablet PCs are going to get slimmer and lighter, and eventually they'll replace both paper and dedicated readers.

And it's not as if books actually last all that long. If you print on parchment or acid free paper you can expect a reasonable shelf-life, but most modern paperbacks use cheap paper stock. I have books from twenty years ago that are already very fragile and impossible to read without damage.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Sep 4th, 2009 at 08:45:17 PM EST
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