A few days ago I saw something about Frommer's, (owned by Google), going digital except for their Disney guides. I can't remember where, it may have been an Ingram or Baker & Taylor e-mail. This is enough for Harry McCracken to herald the end of printed travel guides in Time Magazine, Print Travel Books Are Dead, and There's No Good Replacement
Now I see at The Guardian that Lonely Planet has been sold by its owner, the BBC, as Kevin Rushby reports in The death of the guidebook will open up new worlds . It's worth reading the comments on this one for some interesting back and forth. Some say that the Web does listings of restaurants & hotels better, but that e-book versions of travel guides leave a lot to be desired.
Still, it sounds to me like another groan of tectonic plates shifting in our print collection. Fiction is bursting at the seams, but non-fiction seems to be withering away in very definite areas. Still thriving vigorously in print: cookery and knitting!
A quite elderly Southern lady approached the reference desk. She must have been in her 80's. Could I find the words to a poem? She knew the first lines, and began to sing them to me in a low voice.
Sweetest little fellow
Don't know what to call him
But he's mighty like a rose
They are the lyrics to Mighty Lak' a Rose, written by Frank Lebby Stanton . Her mother had sung it as a lullaby to her and her sister, and she wanted to give the lyrics to her sister as a gift.
She was amazed that I could conjure up the complete lyrics on my computer and print them out for her, along with the Wikipedia entry on the song.
I am sure I have heard of this song, but I didn't know it. I had no idea that it had been recorded by so many famous singers and bands.