Books: If you want to be a thinker, and know stuff, you have to feed your brain. If you want to convey information that will last, books are the time-tested method.
By comparison, information seen on video is ephemeral, lasting only long enough for the image to resolve and then the camera lens usually passes along to another image, another bit of information, but again it is there and gone. It is more temporary in nature.
Digital information can be solid only temporarily for a matter of years; and is not archival. It has to be refreshed every five to ten years, and then it degrades. It is not a permanent archive such as words printed on paper, which remain the only enduring, and permanent record of whatever information was conveyed on the page. Imagine if all the books at the Library of Congress had to be copied over or reprinted every five to ten years in order for them to be read fifty years from now.
As a adjunct: Photographs printed on high quality photo paper are the best means of preserving photographic images, especially now that we no longer have the negative film with which to make a new print.
Books. Write one, read one, shelve one, or buy one. Visit them at the library. See them in a book store. See them on a friend’s shelf and ask to look, or borrow, and read.
Your brain will thank you; your culture will thank you; and your life will be richer.
A recent New Yorker article on bibliotherapy speaks to the latter part of why we read books. Can Reading Make You Happier? It’s worth a try.
– David W. Wooddell