People's Library, Zucotti Park NYC, via Jeremiah Moss

Seeing books has an impact. Whether it’s in a library or through the windows of a bookshop, just seeing large numbers of books together in one place has the power to stir emotions. And the People’s Library was this kind of powerful place–not virtual, but real. E-readers like the Kindle do not have this power. “Vooks” don’t gather. They don’t mass. They don’t burn and therefore do not, by the spectacle of their burning, shock us into action.

In their physicality, and thus vulnerability (like human bodies), books have the power to make us righteously outraged when they are threatened with destruction. When all books are electronic, we won’t witness their destruction, a silent deletion, and so we won’t feel it as much when they vanish.

…Kindles are not books, because books are more than collections of words. Those creaky paper bodies, rejected today by so many future fetishists, have meaning. They take up space. And that space-taking matters, because it functions both to agitate and to bring people together.

– Jeremiah Moss, writing on his blog, Vanishing New York, about the destruction of the People’s Library, created by the members of Occupy Wall Street in Zucotti Park NYC

[There is hope…on many levels… – J.]