liza Donnelly

liza Donnelly
Rhinebeck, New York, USA
May 12
New Yorker cartoonist, writer. New ebook soon! Women On Men (21st Books). Recent book: When Do They Serve The Wine? (Chronicle)


Editor’s Pick
MARCH 16, 2012 8:44AM

Bookshelves Are For What, Again?

Rate: 19 Flag
bookshelf copy

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reading, bookshelves, ebooks, books

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Liza, bookshelves...they're clearly so yesterday! Regrettably, they will be disappearing from more homes in the future as more people embrace digital vs. print for their books.
I just visited the JP Morgan Library and lamented all those bookshelves filled with all those treasures, wondering about the future. Bleak, bleak, bleak.
Wrong, Designator. It's because Americans largely don't know how to read, and by largely I mean ninety percent. Thank a teacher. Why do you think writers are never paid for writing? Nobody's reading anything, especially not those little crippled would-be laptops the dying bookstores are selling.
Sorry I posted a cartoon that is getting us all depressed!
Neutron, the literacy rates shown on this Wikipedia indicate the U.S. rate is high and is on a par with the rest of the developed world:
Liza: Ha! Well around here I've done just the opposite. We have a lovely antique china cabinet that serves as a heavy duty bookcase. Every shelf filled to the brim with those old-fashioned relics: books!
When I was a kid, I regularly consulted our shelf of encyclopedias just for fun. My brother and I would choose our favorite of the many different kinds of dolphins and international flags. This was educational, and we didn't even know it!

While Kindles are great, I'm not so sure they allow such leafing through that might lead to learning. [r]
Books look so beautiful on shelves, though. They instantly give a room an intellectual flair, and make a huge statement. They give your guests something to look at in your home, and start conversations. I'll never give up bookshelves. Besides, what happens when the entire grid collapses and everyone's digital content disappears? ... I went to a funeral once for a woman who so loved reading, that her family buried her with several of her favorite books. With digital content, what will we take with us? What will be left behind?
My book shelves are crammed with books... some electronic equipment... yarn and needles... more books about yarn and needles, cooking, traveling, and reading. I am a bookaholic, I bought 4 more last night.
Oh, Designator, Wikipedia is wrong. You want a true survey of how many Americans know how to read? Stand near a snack bar at any mall, where there's a menu of the items for sale and how much they cost. Count how many people read the menu and order clearly.

The majority will come up to the clerk and say "What you got here?" and "How much is it?" If they won't read something vital for their survival and their digestion, what makes you think they'll actually buy a book and struggle through figuring out what those words are? Face it; Americans are stupid and proud of it.
Oh this makes me sad. I won't be getting an e-reader any time soon... I don't want a device where I can surf the web or read email with my books.
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Thanks for the big belly (pun intended) laugh! What a great cartoon.

At my book club Friday night one person had read an audio version of our book on her iPad, and we all had a brief listen to "her" version, as none of the rest of us could relate to that. I couldn't stand it. Most of us expressed our love for the feel and the smell of books, and the deep-rooted need to HOLD the book as we read. I wonder if I'll ever embrace ebooks (except for the necessary how-to's on my i-shelf in my i-brary on my i-pad). Ugh. And neutron makes a valid point above. Well said.