The Student News Site of Taipei American School




Don’t Judge A Book By Its… Format


The French have their food; Texas has its guns; and readers have their books. If you “mess” with any of them, there is bound to be trouble.   But like the cover of a book, the format is no way to judge it. So why the fuss over digital formats in the Upper School Information Commons (USIC)?
OK, I get it. Having experienced the joy of reading physical, print books all of my life, I share nostalgia for print and libraries. I like the backdrop of the book-filled shelves as an iconic image of intellectual activity. I like the visual stimulation of scanning the rows of shelving and the musty smell of aged paper.  And perhaps most of all I like the promise of discovery of a new item on the shelf, something I would not have otherwise chosen.
But like an exploding number of other readers (many of your student peers), I also have a new and exciting relationship to digital formats.  I like carrying hundreds of books with me all the time on my eReader. I like being able to access (or buy) a book at anytime from anywhere. I like linking to dictionaries to look up unknown words and access (sometimes) other readers’ comments. I like that nobody can hide or check out the book I need for research.  I like that I can review (or “like”) or engage in social media for readers. And…I like that I can discover new items on a digital shelf, books I would not normally have chosen.
The Upper School library has a new name – the Information Commons –  but the print books are still there. Now, however, there are new digital formats and collections: Kindles for checkout; Overdrive for downloads; DestinyShelf for Online Reading, Questia for research, and more. If you haven’t tried them out, you are behind the times, my friend, and missing an opportunity to engage with the written word for its own sake.  As American journalist Christopher Morley said, “When you sell a man a book you don’t sell just 12 ounces of paper and ink and glue – you sell him a whole new life.”
Note: Access all resources through the Destiny catalog.
Dr. Aiani is the USIC Librarian.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All THE BLUE & GOLD Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *