This week we went to the library. It didn’t feel like a library at first; it wasn’t as quiet as I thought libraries should be, and not many people were actually reading books. I didn’t take very many pictures as we weren’t allowed to, which is understandable since we are in a learning environment. A few people stared at us, which was slightly embarrassing to say the least.
The bookstore was just a little more exciting, but their books were also fairly hidden in the back. Boxes of school-emblazoned clothes were stacked and littered everywhere, which was unexpected for a bookstore. I did not take nearly as many pictures as I thought I would. The place gave me a sense of disconnect, and I wondered for a second if bookstores were losing their usefulness, especially in an increasingly digital society in which millions of books can be saved in half the space and weight that a paperback would occupy.
However, I believe that bookstores and physical copies of books will not become obsolete soon. I think the message was supposed to be that literary centers such as libraries and bookstores are losing their function, but that’s not the case. These places we visited were interesting cases that show places outgrowing their initial purpose–to house literature–but in the end, I believe they are outliers and should not be used as an example of the state of literacy in general.