“So like, do you wanna carry my books and stuff ?…”

Personally, no matter how far I for see myself going down the ol’ technology/digital marketing hole, I don’t think I could ever read a book online. And I’m not being a contrarian when i say that, it really is just a matter of fact with no sense of pretentious romanticism – the sheer unadulterated feeling of a well intended book, from the smoothness of the cover to the grain of a page right down to the overwhelming joy I experience upon hearing a cracked spine, no mobile device can ever compare! You just can’t sell it to me, the whole ‘1000 books in one portable device that also happens to harlem shake and dispense hot coffee’ or whatever USP they’re all barking about these days falls on deaf ears. I would rather log around 5 books on a daily basis out of sheer stubbornness than convert my entire library collection online.

Bare in mind, I may not have an expansive collection but it has been a blossoming work in progress since primary school. I loved books so much that i became the first in my class to surpass their recommended reading level twice over, which may not mean much now but in those days it was the equivalent of having the latest Harry Styles mobile wallpaper. I even took my habit as far as to enlist myself under several library memberships in different local boroughs and stealing keeping books that tickled my fancy, I believe i even managed to read 30 and scour 20 over one whole summer. All that despite my mother nearly running bankrupt buying books for me from nearly every book fair and pamphlet.

So its goes without saying (except from the above) that I’m an admirer of the written arts and the whole decline of libraries, quality published books etc has inadvertently been scraping away at me. But libraries aren’t doing much to help themselves; either they’re becoming inundated with TV screens or tarting themselves out with the promise of 30 minutes of iPad usage to the nearest passing youngster – all with the fleeting hope that they’ll shuffle in and take a ganders round the joint. And yes, i understand the times are changing blah blah blah but it still feels wrong; like the bloke in a long overcoat standing at the night bus-stop in waterlogged trainers, asking him for the time can only end in tabloid-worthy results.

Anywhoo, enough of my rambling. After taking a quick lookie-loo round my new blossoming favourite think-tank Prote.in, i stumbled across this little beauty. Three students from Miami Ad School have proposed an ‘Underground Library’ of sort. With the aid of NFC, mobile or tablet users on the underground in NY can download and read the first 10 pages of a book on their smartphone to enjoy during their journey. Once the passenger leaves the subway, a pop-up map appears on their phone directing them to the nearest library where they can “pick up a hard copy and read to their heart’s content!”. The tool mainly operates on the basis of encouraging people to remember that the library still – and hopefully will forever be- a free resourceful tool and most importantly a welcome refreshing break from Ask Jeeves ((**cough**) awaits laughter)).

I think its a great proposal though I’m highly doubtful of the conversion rate to get people from the tube to the much worn steps of a library – but I hope that it does .
What are your thoughts, do you think that this could translate over to our sunny shores of England?

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