What we become depends on what we read after all the professors have finished with us. The greatest university of all is a collection of books.
- Thomas Carlyle.
Books have always scared those whose source of power lay in ignorance. Plato made himself very unpopular with his The Republic. Copernicus, Brahe and Galileo made themselves enemies of the church because of their views expressed in books. In modern times, a Salman Rushdie becomes a haunted figure in exile, again thanks to a book. Books have long been an object of controversy, a vehicle of truth, an instrument of scholarship that strikes at the root of ignorance – and ignorance it is that often masquerades as wisdom through use of power.
It is the books that act as cultural and historical repositories, giving us glimpses of our past and telling us how we came here. Books ossify the knowledge of all those that went before us, capture the mistakes committed by our ancestors so that we may avoid them. Books act as the voice of God in religion, as the prophesy of prophets. Books show us the truth of the universe through philosophy, enchant us with wonderment in artistic works. Books are our steadfast friends when no one is around, the object of our pride on a well stacked book shelf, the vehicle of our love in the form of a gift. Books make us think; books help us in learning when there is no one else to teach.
The most fascinating aspect of books is that it is so easy to recreate them. Unlike graphic and sculptural works or art, a replicated book is no way inferior to the original. Like knowledge, it increases the more we deal with it. Since it is not the paper that is the book, but what is written on them, a book can be translated in different languages and different forms. Since Gutenberg, bookmaking has been both a scholarly and a business occupation. Online shopping has taken books to a new level, making them more accessible to a global audience.
Online shopping of books has many advantages – one gets a vaster catalog, gets to access those books not available in one’s own country, one can compare prices, one can read reviews and do an assortment of research regarding them. Computers have made books available in a variety of options. The ongoing Project Gutenberg makes copyright free books available for free. Digitization has resulted in the birth of e-books. Stephen King famously brought one of his books for online publication. Online bookstalls and libraries have become bigger than supermarkets providing one stop shopping for all book needs.
This section of the directory reflects this vast change in the world of books. With links to various online resources related to books, this section of the webdirectory is a bibliophile’s dream come true.