If you, like me, have ever finished a book and thought, “What should I read next?” then the aptly-titled website WhatShouldIReadNext.com is for you. Enter in a title, author, or ISBN number, and the site analyzes reviews and ratings from other readers and recommends books.
I don’t know, but this article by Ryan Britt made me think.
Not once in any Star Wars movie does someone pick up a book or newspaper, magazine, literary journal, or chapbook handmade by an aspiring Jawa poet. If something is read by someone in Star Wars, it’s almost certainly off of a screen (and even then, maybe being translated by a droid), and it’s definitely not for entertainment purposes. As early as the 1990s-era expanded Star Wars books and comic books, we’re introduced to ancient Jedi “texts” called holocrons, which are basically talking holographic video recordings. Just how long has the Star Wars universe been reliant on fancy technology to transfer information as opposed to the written word? Is it possible that a good number of people in Star Wars are completely illiterate?
Obi-Wan may have put a lightsaber in Luke’s hand, but really he and Qui-Gon should have been going around teaching people on poor planets to read years and years prior. After all, hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good book in your hands.
According to medievalist Erik Kwakkel, they used a sort of low-tech GPS system:
A book was tagged with a unique identifier (a shelfmark) that was entered into a searchable database (a library catalogue), which could subsequently be consulted with a handheld device (a portable version of the catalogue).
And now I want one.
Preach it, Madison!
A book is a dream that you hold in your hands.
What an astonishing thing a book is. It’s a flat object made from a tree with flexible parts on which are imprinted lots of funny dark squiggles. But one glance at it and you’re inside the mind of another person, maybe somebody dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, an author is speaking clearly and silently inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people who never knew each other, citizens of distant epochs. Books break the shackles of time. A book is proof that humans are capable of magic.