If you are of a certain age then you would remember that the only option to gain knowledge was via the printed word.
You may not even had the resources to purchase a number of books, but this was not an issue as you could nip to your local library and borrow a copy.
Back into the 21st century, you can read so much information online, but it is sometimes 'too much information' that we are faced with in one simple internet search. Sometimes the information is good, sometimes it is unreliable and even in a lot of cases 'wide of the mark' when it comes to accuracy when researching a topic.
So, back to the printed book and magazine. Why would you want to buy and read a book?
Well, for some people it is the aesthetic value of a book, the feel, the smell and just handling a book can be all one needs to settle in for a good read.
You can get this on an electronic device and indeed Tablets are great for summer holiday reading as you can download several books onto one device and work your way through them as you lay by the pool. Equally, the spoken word by way of Audiobooks are an excellent way to grab some downtime on the eyes and be absorbed into the story being narated.
But generally, the essence of reading a book is rather comforting to most knowing that the content has been researched thoroughly by the author and verified by a publisher as original and authentic work. Added to that, there may be images that are not available online due to copyright reasons and the reader can benefit from this in a printed version.
Is the digital age providing too much information?
Now this is a matter of perspective, there is a huge amount of information and when you look at the number of 'hits' on Google for a specific subject it then becomes quite difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff. It takes some refining via specific search terms and even then it may only show snippets of information that you require.
I was once asked by a student on a Motor Vehicle course that I was teaching "how does he know what it is that he doesn't know". This was in context to an exam and he didn't know what the question would be and therefore didn't know what to revise in order to confidently answer the question.
Now this sounds quite a simple problem to resolve but when faced by huge amounts of information available on the internet (which is where they are encouraged and prefer to go to for knowledge) then it does become a big problem indeed!
My answer was to pick up a theory book which covers the fundamentals of the subject from the very early basics to the most advance knowledge you would need. Now here is the killer!....read the index and if you know what a certain topic or technical term means then move on but when you hit subject terminology you are not familiar with, then you are confronted with 'what you don't know'. Simple but effective method to revise in an exam. Conclusion: the internet doesn’t have an index that you can refer to!
The Value of Books
Books nowadays are considered to be desirable in anyones front room. It may be for aesthetic reasons, such as a means to impress or draw conversation on specific contents on the bookshelf. A well read person enjoys having books around them and sometimes revisits an old book that was read many years ago.
Equally, books can also be quite valuable nowadays in the collectors market. This applies to rare copies such as first editions and some that are now out of print.
Motoring books in particular are sought after by many who either own or desire to own a specific model of car and therefore buy a book to learn more about the car. In some cases, Ferrari in particular, books can command several thousand pounds on particular models or by renowned authors.
I have purchased old books for no other reason than I have wanted them in my collection and believe me there is nothing better than holding a copy of a book first published in the 1930's a getting a sense of feeling that someone else read this book and got huge amounts of joy from owning and reading it.
Personal collections can vary from small and particular in tastes to large and eclectic collections with many varied tastes in subject matter.
Personally, my collection of books reflect my varies interests in specific cars I have owned over the years and jump around from American Muscle to Italian to British to new and old cars and motorcycles. A collection never stands still !
Hopefully you have enjoyed reading this article and may it lead to you assembling or enhancing your own collection and realising that in today's 'throw away' world that we live in, that books still have their place in our lives and can be cherished by many owners rather than becoming landfill.