Do You Still Read Books?
Do you have books or do you use a Kindle or other eReader? Do you read or listen to electronic books? Since all the information in the world is available on the Internet, do we even need books anymore?
If you still have real paper books where do you store them? What do you do with a book when you’ve finished reading it? Do you loan it to a friend? Do you donate it or sell it for a fraction of the price you paid for it? Or can you not part with it at all?
Over the next few blog posts let’s talk about books and what they mean to us in today’s world. Let’s discuss how and what we read and how that has changed over time. I look forward our discussion and will start out with a brief confession about my reading.
I have always been a very slow reader. I cannot scan. I cannot rush and still comprehend written material. For some reason, I seem to mentally pronounce each little preposition and I often must go back and reread a sentence or paragraph because my mind has wandered onto some earth shattering issue or maybe my grocery list.
Coming Up: Your First Book Memory and Your Bookshelf
Part 1 of 5
Bookshelves barely exist today. Those that remain often contain old books left over from a former era or perhaps ones with some sentimental memory attached. I must admit that I still like the feel of a real book and I like to highlight and make notes in margins. I can do that with my Kindle but it just does not feel the same. I will admit though that clicking on an unfamiliar word and having the definition pop up on the screen is a valuable feature of electronic readers.
This framed print from my office is a drawing by Robert Conley. Conley’s art was in tribute to nurses who cared for his terminally ill wife in the 1970s. I love it for many personal reasons, but I’m sharing it today to point out two essential medical books of that era. The Physicians’ Desk Reference (PDR) and The Merck Manual seen here were essentials in any clinical area. The PDR was published each year and contained page after page of details about each prescription drug available. It was heavily used by doctors and nurses alike. The Merck Manual explained diagnoses and treatments. I am willing to bet that you do not recall seeing either of these in the past thirty years and younger readers will not likely remember ever seeing a doctor referencing a book of any kind.
The reason, of course, is that now all this information and so much more is available and up to date electronically. This easily accessible data saves time and, no doubt lives. One only needs a handheld device to answer any inquiry.
Recently I ran across a few pages I had photocopied from an old book at some point long ago. I have no recollection why I had them or had kept them, but I’m glad that I did. Especially since that out of all “Twenty Books” in the “One Volume” I had chosen to copy Book VIII entitled “Sexology.”
Library of Health – Complete Guide to Prevention and Cure of Disease
Edited by B. Frank School, Ph.G, M.D.
Graduate of Jefferson Medical College and Philadephia College of Pharmacy
Table of Contents:
Anatomy, Physiology and Preventive Medicine, Curative Medicine, First Aid Measures, Diagnosis, Nursing, Sexology, Simple Home Remedies, Care of the Teeth, Occupational Diseases, Garden Plant Remedies, Alcohol and Narcotics, Treatment by Fifteen Schools of Medicine, Beauty Culture, Physical Culture, the Science of Breathing and the Dictionary of Drugs.
Historical Publishing Co. Philadelphia, PA
In the next few posts, I will summarize some of the wisdom contained in this 108-year-old manuscript. So if you have questions about courtship, matrimony, procreation and more HANG ON! The answers are on the way.
Part 1 of 4