That Thing on the Shelf: The Book as Artifact in Novels by Patrick MacGill and Pádraic Ó Conaire

That Thing on the Shelf: The Book as Artifact in Novels by Patrick MacGill and Pádraic Ó Conaire Andrew Gothard That Thing on the Shelf: The Book as Artifact in Novels by Patrick MacGill and Pádraic Ó Conaire Unlike their counterparts of a century or even a few decades ago, today's students often see libraries not as collections of physical books, but rather, as repositories of easily accessed digital information. Over the past few years it has become increasingly difficult to get my first- and second-year composition and literature students to actually go into the library stacks and encounter what an old professor of mine called "the eros of research": the physical act of sifting through dusty tomes, and the joy that comes from a new discovery, waist-deep in bound volumes. As a joke, I have taken to telling students that the stacks are full of "these things called books, which are like the Internet made from a tree." Though I recently discovered I first heard this joke in a Family Guy episode, the line's electronic origin does not diminish its intended effect of reminding my students that digital is not always synonymous with better, especially in the realms of research and scholarship. In my own case, however, this light-hearted quip also reaffirms the book-object's primarily http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png New Hibernia Review Center for Irish Studies at the University of St. Thomas

That Thing on the Shelf: The Book as Artifact in Novels by Patrick MacGill and Pádraic Ó Conaire

New Hibernia Review, Volume 20 (1) – Apr 15, 2016

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Publisher
Center for Irish Studies at the University of St. Thomas
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 The University of St. Thomas.
ISSN
1534-5815
Publisher site
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Abstract

Andrew Gothard That Thing on the Shelf: The Book as Artifact in Novels by Patrick MacGill and Pádraic Ó Conaire Unlike their counterparts of a century or even a few decades ago, today's students often see libraries not as collections of physical books, but rather, as repositories of easily accessed digital information. Over the past few years it has become increasingly difficult to get my first- and second-year composition and literature students to actually go into the library stacks and encounter what an old professor of mine called "the eros of research": the physical act of sifting through dusty tomes, and the joy that comes from a new discovery, waist-deep in bound volumes. As a joke, I have taken to telling students that the stacks are full of "these things called books, which are like the Internet made from a tree." Though I recently discovered I first heard this joke in a Family Guy episode, the line's electronic origin does not diminish its intended effect of reminding my students that digital is not always synonymous with better, especially in the realms of research and scholarship. In my own case, however, this light-hearted quip also reaffirms the book-object's primarily

Journal

New Hibernia ReviewCenter for Irish Studies at the University of St. Thomas

Published: Apr 15, 2016

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