We are a there always seems to be a countdown of the best songs of 2014 somewhere.
I’m all for a good list—I spent an embarrassing amount of time laughing at the 39 pictures of Renaissance babies—but I can’t help but think what this condensing of information means for society. Gone are the days when people would read articles to find information—even important news events are being condensed into an article consisting of 15 pictures. Reading an article is evidently too tedious for the younger generations; instead, we want the bare minimum of information possible lined out for us.
Of course, I jump to the worst possible scenario and think “What will happen to books?” If my generation can’t even read a 500 word article about the riots in Ferguson, how are we expected to read a 500 page novel? Even as an English major, I find myself resorting to Sparknotes more often than I should. If I, a 21-year-old woman who has dedicated her education to books, can’t even bring myself to finish a novel, what are the people who hate to read expected to do? Read lists I suppose.
Humans of New York, the project of one man to interview random people on the streets of New York City, recently posted a n their Facebook page of a librarian who said, “I wouldn’t even agree that libraries are in the book business. I think they are in the information sharing business.” If a librarian has faith that humanity will always need books, then so can I.
And who knows—maybe I’m just being too pessimistic or bitter about the list fad. Maybe the The New York Times’s list of “ will inspire people to read all 10 books.
This is my last blog post, so I was tempted to ironically make a list of everything I’ve learned in my time at Bluestem. Instead, I’ll just end with saying that writing these blog posts has been challenging, rewarding, and entertaining, and I hope they’ve been the same for you.
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