Of Libraries and the Internet

I recently just read Dan Brown’s “The Lost Symbol” and there was a scene there that really got to me that I wish to share with everybody.

I will narrate this with the least bit of spoilers as I could, because perhaps there are still some of you that have not read the book (I know I read it late too).

So, the main characters were being chased and as they were, they had to solve a code. Upon realizing how they could do just that, the main character, Robert Langdon, wanted to go to a library in order to solve the puzzle. However, he was stopped by Katherine Solomon, as she suggested that they just boot up a computer and search the Internet for whatever it was that Robert Langdon needed to see in a library.

The book continued to describe how Langdon was saddened by the idea, since he knew that the discovery would have been more fulfilling if it was done in the actual location. But given that they were being pursued and that indeed it was more practical to just use the Internet, he gave in to the idea.

I felt a mix of emotions reading this particular scene in the book. First, I was reading a book that somehow was brave enough to point out the current reality — that there is a silent feud between libraries and books against the Internet. Second, it perhaps showed that libraries are now more on the sentimental, while the Internet showcases practicality.

Why am I sharing this? Well, because I do not want to lose hope on actual libraries and actual books. I do not want to give up advocating that people should love books more than they should love theirĀ AT&T Phones with e-books.

I know this is a difficult advocacy on my own, that is why I wish that all book lovers out there would unite and campaign for books rather than what the Internet provides. I am not trying to pick a fight about which mode of communication and data gathering is better. I know that the Internet has been nothing but helpful in easing the lives of people. What I want is just for people to not forget the experience that a real book can give. It will always be incomparable to anything else and it will always have a beauty of its own.

The campaign does not need to be aggressive. Just merely encouraging your family, friends and children to prefer libraries and books is already an enough fight.