Does anyone else feel guilty about reading too much online instead of from our own books? I am perennially behind on reading, required and otherwise, yet this could without question be alleviated by stepping away from the computer. A personal library – its tangible, textured objects – is a wonderful and exclusive thing. It is autobiographical, carrying with it the intellectual formation of its creator. Unlike the Internet, it feeds the senses. The Internet is not a massive library and the accumulation of information is not knowledge. The problem with the online world is that there is no hierarchy: a library must have selection and exclusion. The Internet offers the false, fleeting feeling of omnipresence, just as its “communities” have value yet are quite capable of devaluing the true building of community, which is loyalty to persons accomplished by personal intimacy and interaction.
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