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08/01/2008

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Dave

Innovations happen. Old ways of things get bumped off. New ways of doing things are better, but inevitably they cause us to be nostalgic for the old ways. Smart marketing firms market the old ways to old people who use the new ways but will buy their stuff because nostalgia is a very powerful force, bringing us back to an idealized time in our lives, evoking memories from a better/happier/weirder time.

So it goes with the card catalog. Not sure how marketing firm will market this, but don't be surprised if there is a commercial about them at some point.

Mihaela V

I'm with you on the tactile experience of reading actual books, getting lost in the labyrinth of books of a big library, and... smelling books. I love the smell of books. OK, not the very old ones that make you sneeze :)

But discovery and the extra level of information? I don't think so. Good systems such as amazon.com enable more discovery than browsing through library cards or even shelves. I often do my book research on amazon.com, find the ISBN, then get the book from my university's library. So it's OK if library systems don't have detailed records. And I don't have to tell you that the amazon.com page for a book quite often contains those very many extra levels of information... What I do miss though is being able to browse the book as much as I want to.

But it's OK. It's not either/or. TV didn't really kill the radio star.

Kevin Dugan

Dave and Michaela - Thanks for the input. I think marketers are tapping into nostalgia...always have really. It makes sense and eases the issue of "losing" things.

And while I agree it's not always either/or, my concern is that it's headed that way. I can honestly live without the card catalog. Will hate to see newspapers disappear. I'll get over it. It's not the end of civilization obviously.

Angela Seits

I don't think you're showing your old age. I'm in my twenties and I still feel the same way about print media. In fact, anytime I'm having a difficult time writing, I return to a notepad and pen, and my thoughts become more clear and easier to convey. There haven't been enough studies on the subject, but there is definitely something to be said for the way we process information differently when experienced on paper vs. digitally.

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