The Future Is Now: Nation's First Bookless Library Coming to Texas

Spurred by reading Walter Isaacson's two-million page love letter to Steve Jobs, San Antonio County Judge Nelson W. Wolff pushed for the creation of the first bookless public library system.

Named BiblioTech, the shiny metal library system will make thousands of e-books available to the public both online and at the 5,000-square-foot physical location. Visitors can use either their own e-readers or tablets, or borrow one of the library's.

"If you want to get an idea what it looks like, go into an Apple store," Wolff said. Mac people, am I right?

Wolff, whose own library has over 1,000 printed and bound first editions, believes the future is in e-reading Anna Karenina from our floating couches in our houses on Mars. However, he's not about to run out and burn all the evil paper books.

"It's not a replacement for the (city) library system, it's an enhancement," Wolff said.

Very cool, I'm about it.

I understand those who say they never want to give up the tactile sensation of crisp pages between their fingers, but I freaking love my Kindle. I still have copies of my favorites in old-book form — I'm from San Francisco, do you think not having bookshelves to impress prospective friends and lovers with how smart I am is even an option? — but I love living in a world where I can carry 6,000 books in my coat pocket. So far, the future doesn't have all the other cool shit I was promised, let me at least have my magic reading machine.

Plus, thinking back to my childhood, getting to the library was always a pain in the ass. I had to wait for an adult to take me, and then they had to be available during library hours, and ugh. It really slowed me down on my Sweet Valley Twins progress. If I'd been able to hop online (whether at home, at school, or in any number of public WiFi spots), I wouldn't have had to wait forever to find out what sociopath Jessica did to Enid on that fateful April Fools Day.

I'm just saying... it could've saved me a LOT of childhood book stress and trauma.

This first BiblioTech will open in the fall, and if successful, the program will expand citywide.

[San Antonio Express]