Monday, June 29, 2009

Bradbury prefers library over internet

Ray Bradbury, hands down - master craftsman of the speculative fiction genre, has a sore spot, it would appear. To quote Mr Bradbury “The Internet is a big distraction,”. That is a curious statement from someone accustomed to looking into the future and understanding the impact the Internet / Web has, and will have. But not really surprising is Bradbury's passion for the public library.

From the article:
  • “Libraries raised me,” Mr. Bradbury said. “I don’t believe in colleges and universities. I believe in libraries because most students don’t have any money. When I graduated from high school, it was during the Depression and we had no money. I couldn’t go to college, so I went to the library three days a week for 10 years.”
But the internet?:
  • “It’s distracting, It’s meaningless; it’s not real. It’s in the air somewhere.”

Due to a rapid decline in the economy and a sharp decline in property taxes, many libraries find themselves in financial trouble. And to say the least, he find this disconcerting.

Read the full article to find out what steps he is taking to secure the health of the library system


Shaun said...

I must admit (like many) to using the internet for research plus general reading on current affairs...But, there is *nothing* like sitting down with a physical book, or walking through a library (or 2nd hand book store, for eg), with the books - 'treasures' - waiting to be found.

And as for Ray's comment on education, the advantage of the library is that you set you own curriculum (now isn't that a dangerous thought! :-)

Donald said...

Personally, I live online. Research, Warcraft, Poker, other games, etc. And always looking up stuff for my own game, and hints to other games, or finding who did what when.
Even so, I have over 700 books, some first edition sci-fi, 1880 encyclopedias, etc. I have to admit. If i had to give up one for the other, it would be goodbye internet.
You just don't get the same feeling, as sitting back with a smoke, a drink, and a good book, as you do looking at a screen.
The differance is like night and day. I can only hope, that one day, some of my own writing might make it into book form, and be loved as much as what the books I have here are to me.

Beam Me Up said...

Donald, Shaun
I am siding with you gents. I have always thought that the book was one of the most efficient and green invention man has ever developed. I must profess that most of my reading of late HAS been on the web but at the end of the day, I look forward to opening a book or magazine and just relaxing. That may well be the defining line between our generation and those that grew up with the web a constant presence. I feel these people will never know that rush of finding those hidden treasures that Shaun talks about. When you can tell by the smell how old a piece of work is. Or the mystery of finding an old bookmark in one of your "discoveries". Yes I would feel the loss of the internet/web but I suspect it would not be as keenly felt as it would be with those that depend on it.

Shaun said...

"I have to admit. If i had to give up one for the other, it would be goodbye internet."

I agree, Donald.

Reminds me of the classic Twilight Zone story 'All the time in the world'...