Last weekend I went to my local library and got a library card. The awesomeness of this experience was compounded by the fact that I was able to bring my dog otto into the Library. Why the library? My apartment is overflowing with books. This is generally a wonderful thing. Last week after finishing 'Betraying Spinoza' - I went to my personal library and pulled out all my Spinoza books - and some random books by jewish philosophers like 'The Star of Redemption' by Rosenzweig. However there are a few books that might have best been checked out and then RETURNED to the library - such as "The Ultimate Journey", an NYTimes book reviewer's personal memoir on travelling the same path as the Monk in the Chinese classic 'Journey to the West'. Journey to the West is fantastic - The Ultimate Journey not so much. There are also the impulse hardcover fiction purchases that I almost always regret - and regret paying too much for. Also, I hear you can check out DVDs and CDs from the library - and that is very exciting.
The day I went to the Library was also the day that I spent some time playing with Paul's (see 13Bit) iPad - a device that will probably replace the book and I started meditating on what this will mean to a place like my neighborhood library.
I live in chinatown. A few generations ago, when my grandfather was a boy, it was a jewish neighborhood, and during my childhood it was mostly dominican. The thread that runs through all these changes, is that it is an immigrant neighborhood and the little kids probably know english better than their parents.
At the library, there were a bunch of little kids running around, checking out books, checking out DVDs, learning - all for free. What will happen in 10 years when all this 'media' is consumed on a $500 iPad?
This got me