Lust in the Stacks No Longer...?

Ah, libraries!

All those books! All those really, really smart librarians! All those nooks and crannies! Just the thing for a higher-class romance ... a little discrete necking ... a nice little venue in which to hide a body....

Libraries and librarians have long been protagonists and foils in everything from romances to mysteries to science fiction.  Like bookstores, libraries frequently are stocked with attractively intelligent and/or eccentric characters. Many of the books found in libraries are extremely valuable.  And many libraries contain plenty of well-hidden places within which to develop a good plot. Perhaps that is why so many writers pen bibliomysteries, and why so many book collectors--even if they do not generally collect such books--often are drawn to bibliomysteries that feature libraries and librarians.

But mystery writers and collectors are not the only fans of libraries and librarians. Many SciFi writers love libraries and librarians, too. As Hugo- and Nebula Award-winning Canadian science fiction writer Spider Robinson observes in his book The Callahan Touch, librarians are the "hidden masters of the world. They control information. Don't ever piss one off."

Thumbnail image for jinnywilliams.jpg And lest we forget, all those nooks and crannies, all those intelligent and attractive librarians, are great fodder for affaires du coeur. Which brings me to the point of today's post....

Bookstores and libraries across the country are being shuttered. While SciFi writers probably will still find uses for librarians and libraries in a world without printed books (as devotees of Star Trek and Star Wars will attest), what is going to happen to the bibliomystery if this trend continues? Will Kindles and Nooks and iPads replace printed books as objects of bibliophilic lust?

More importantly, perhaps, how will attractive and intelligent librarians find love in the stacks when there no longer are any stacks...?
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