Saturday, November 28, 2009

About books

A week ago, I argued that journals are dead. What about books? There are three types of books I want to distinguish.

Textbooks. They have turned into an abomination. They are expensive, too frequently revised, encourage both teacher and student to be lazy in class. I would do away with I were allowed.

Academic books. In economics, they rarely push the frontier of research. Over the last five years, I must not have read more than five. Were they to disappear, it would not be a big loss.

Entertaining books. By that I mean literary pieces in fiction mostly. This is a medium that is not going to disappear. Nothing beat being taken by a book and not be able to put it away. There is something physical about it that a Kindle cannot replicate. Something like what the following video describes.


Anonymous said...

Just because you don't read books and journals they won't disappear. Academic books are necessary, or could you imagine your work without those big and famous reference books? Same happens to textbooks. You don't have to buy the updated versions every year, and even if you heavily use one you can still look at other resources for exercises, data, examples.

I think a good load of humility would do you good.

Anonymous said...

He is not capable of reading serious books.