What do all Columbia University students have in common? We read books!

A LOT of books. So if you are a prospective CU student and you are reading this blog – BE WARNED – if you don’t like books DON’T COME HERE.

I, like many of my peers, love books. I love the way they smell, the feeling of the pages between my fingers. Sometimes, when I’m alone at night, I even take one to bed with me.

A few days ago, when I heard about Apple’s new product – the iPad – I felt a cold chill run through my veins. The iPad – a glorified Amazon Kindle/iPhone/Laptop – may bring about the extinction of books as we know them. When iPad’s reach their full potential (certainly within the next year or two), CU students won’t have to go trekking to Book Culture through the cold to stock up on several pounds of books. They will simply download books on their iPad’s, and WAM! BAM! Digital books in the comfort of their own dorm rooms! Comfortable, maybe, but when has comfort ever made a MAN out of anyone?

That copy of Invisible Man lying on your bed-side table may actually become invisible. It will be found encased in glass in a museum. In fact, books are already in museums. This summer, the British Library is putting on an exhibition about maps, which includes the BIGGEST book in the world!

Hey Columbia students – you hear that? The BIGGEST.

It is the 350 year old Klencke Atlas, presented to Charles II on his restoration.

This book could take War & Peace or Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows any day.

Containing 37 maps in the Klencke Atlas, it is almost absurdly huge – 1.75 metres (5ft) tall and 1.9 metres (6ft) wide – and was given to the king by Dutch merchants and placed in his cabinet of curiosities.

Along with the Klencke Atlas, the exhibit will display 100 other maps, some considered the greatest in the world, three-quarters of which are going on display for the first time.

So if you DO like books, and maps, and ostensibly iPads (even though the name, is pretty dubious – do any women work at Apple? Steve? Helloooo…) book a flight to London to see Magnificent maps: Power, Propaganda and Art is at the British Library from April 30th – September 19th, 2010 and “Explore the World’s Knowledge!”

Rosie DuPont, BC ’10

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One Response to BIG BOOKS.

  1. I am really taken by the mode that you write, and the subject is great. And considering one of the selling of points of the first Kindle was Includes free wireless access to the planets most exhaustive and up-to-date I dont think there are any TOS issues with visiting the site. Some of the other applications may cross the line, though.

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