Sunday, August 01, 2010

Last days of reading a magazine at the library

King Furniture Delta Modular Sofa
The National Library of Australia main reading room has six racks for magazines. It has been my pleasure to spend Sunday afternoons in the library reading these. I would start at one end and work my way to the other, with a break to browse the new books on display and for coffee in the Bookplate cafe. However, the number of magazines has been shrinking over the years. The furthest of the six racks now has no magazines and some brochures have been put there to make it look less bare. The other racks are about one third full. I suspect this is a result of the success of online publications, for which I am partly responsible (having helped convert the IT profession to e-publishing in Australia, and Internationally). But while the e-journals are more efficient, there is something lost, in not being able to sit in a comfortable chair and just flip through a publication. Electronic journals can be read at the computers in the reading room. But these are placed on high desks, with high stools (somewhat reminiscent of monks at a scriptorium).

Perhaps the NLA needs to consider the electronic equivalent of the comfy chair, for browsing, with some sort of e-reader equipped low seating. What I have in mind is something like a King furniture Delta modular chair, equipped with a touch screen on an articulated arm (taking advantage of the chair's modular system), to make the upholstered equivalent of an Apple iPad.

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