Wednesday, May 5, 2010
NCIS (TV show) and Books
On the NCIS show last night (May 4) "Obsession" there was a murder of a bookstore owner, Charlie Bascom, who was connected to the murder of Navy Lt. Craig Hutton being investigated by the NCIS team. The bookstore is in the process of being sold when the real estate agent says the bookstore isn't really worth a whole lot. Books are a dying business, everyone is getting electronic readers. !" Well she didn't come to our library. Books are still kind. Electronic books have their place in our collection; we have 2500. I even added links to 500 e-books for my personal use. Electronic devices may break when they fall; if you drop a book it will still work. The new technology does not replace the old; it just gives a new venue for reading and transfer of information.
In another scene Gibbs finds a microfiche card hidden under a a shelf covering. Carefully he holds up the card. Tony DiNozzo asked what is it. Gibbs says it is a microfiche sort of stores information like a 1970's flash drive. They obviously haven't visited a library lately. We still have lots of microfiche. We don't use it much, but it still has its place in the information world.
The show "redeems" itself when the source of the book dealer's wealth is revealed -- an original Gutenberg Bible from 1456 printed on velum and an early edition of Shakespeare's plays. When showing these books the character wears protective white cotton gloves. These volumes total value was given at more than $8 million. While Tony in his juvenile remarks does not understand the place of electronic books or microfiche, the money is still in physical books.