A Hungry MorlockPosted February 24th, 2011 by Thomas Norman DeWolf
A few days ago, Border’s filed for bankruptcy and began the process of closing down thirty percent of their stores in the United States. I can’t help but wonder what that will mean for people who love books, not to mention those who write them (like me).
I am not doing the rah-rah for Border’s, although I have frequently shopped there. But I AM a big fan of books. And, although I buy many of my books online these days, I continue to cherish the experience of actually going into a physical bookstore and the ensuing tactile pleasure of handling the books before I spend my hard earned money buying them.
I marvel at good cover designs. I enjoy reading about the typeface that was used to print them. I love the feel of pages in my hand as I turn them while reading late into the night. It makes me content to get so caught up in what I am reading that I forget the time. I like inserting artistic bookmarks to save my place for the next reading. I also love the smell of books, whether they are in dusty libraries or just off the press.
But it seems my days of savoring books within the environment of an actual building are rapidly coming to an end. Soon, everything — libraries and bookstores — will be disembodied; relegated to “the cloud.”
One day, I suppose (hopefully not within my lifetime) all of human knowledge will be collected and stored on “virtual” devices. Maybe they will look like those little turney discs from the movie The Time Machine. And maybe humans will evolve to a similar state as that of the Eloi who have “undergone significant physical and mental deterioration. Having solved all problems that required strength, intelligence, or virtue, they have slowly become dissolute and naive. While one initially has the impression that the Eloi people live a life of play and toil-less abundance, it is revealed that the Morlocks are attending to the Eloi’s needs for the same reason a farmer tends cattle; the Morlocks use the Eloi for food.”
My mental food is books. How will I survive without the weekend bookstore browse?
Eastern Mennonite University
Harlem Book Fair
Phillis Wheatley Book Award
Post Racial Society
Summer Peacebuilding Institute
Tulsa race riot
Most recent posts
Standing in Ferguson where Michael Brown died
Pull Back the Covers
Working with Corporate America on Issues of Race
Give Gather at the Table for the Holidays, SAVE $$$ & Support a Great Cause!
Gather at the Table authors recite Gettysburg Address for PBS site
Gather at the Table Paperback coming THIS WEEK!
From a Reader: thoughts on Gather at the Table
GREAT deal on the last of the Gather at the Table hardcovers from Beacon Press
Gather at the Table called “brave and compelling” in new YES! Magazine review
Gather at the Table is #1
Most recent comments
Digging Up Dead White People (3)
melissa marraste`: coming from this same family as you its strange and comforting to...
Barack Obama, Fifty Shades of Grey, Louis C.K., and Gather at the Table (8)
isabelle: Thank you for the amazing work you have done
Lawdy Miss Scarlet! (4)
emilywotzka: Wonderful book…completely opened my eyes to the harsh realities of...
Standing in Ferguson where Michael Brown died (2)
Sandra: Thank you. I am from St. Louis County and now, almost a year after Mike...
Alexis: I've seen the documentary Traces of the Trade. I had no idea you guys had...