To give you a sense of scale. Prepare to scroll. A lot. (via bbc.com)
For the people who are like ‘Hey, no big’, here are the problems: 1) There are thousands of children in the US who do not have access to literature—even children’s literature—because they live in rural areas or impoverished areas where those resources are unavailable. Donating books to a charity, a local school, etc. is always more favourable than destroying them. 2) Books are our history—they are our routes to our past. Have you ever seen Beowulf? It is the first story we have in English, in print, from ca. 800-1000. 800. We are in the year 2012. That is INCREDIBLE. Or how about medieval manuscripts with the intricate detailing? I have a book from 1710—over three hundred years old (think about that!!)—and it tells me so much. Which brings me to (for those who are like, ‘Who cares, I have a Kindle’): 3) Comparing a 300 year-old book to one from today: The paper is different, the smell is different, the font is different. I can see the signatures of previous owners. I can read their annotations, their perspectives of the text. Perspectives from 300 years ago! Perspectives from the people who were lampooned in the satires I read! These are things I wouldn’t be able to experience if I just read a modern copy on a Kindle. So yes, maybe I’m a nerd. But I’m a nerd who is going to have a doctorate, and that makes me feel a hell of a lot more worthwhile than being able to make a shitty looking box.