I just got done reading about a credit crisis that Borders is apparently experiencing, and I am somewhat sad about it. I like Borders. It is, in fact, my favorite place to buy books due to their Rewards club deals. (Well, when I can I buy the book direct from the author, but that is an option far less frequently than desired.) I don’t really like Barnes and Noble and really don’t like their prices, so if Borders gets disbanded I guess I’ll be doing most of my booking of books on Amazon.
This article by Clive Thompson argues that Science Fiction may be the last great source of philosophy and new ideas out there.
If you want to read books that tackle profound philosophical questions, then the best — and perhaps only — place to turn these days is sci-fi. Science fiction is the last great literature of ideas.
While it makes sense to me that science fiction would lend itself to exploring seemingly far-fetched ideas and new ways of looking at reality (or ignoring our own reality all together), I’m not necessarily convinced it is the only source. Having read as many self-development/business/personal-growth books (or whatever the heck you want to call that “genre”) as I have, I definitely think that the journey inwards, deeper into who we are and how we get back to some semblance of order and peace amidst the world we face today, is one still very ripe for discovery.
And of course, as we go deeper into self-discovery, science fiction authors can use those discoveries and ask all sorts of new “what-ifs” from them.
I have the book Made To Stick on my shelf, and I had of course intended to read it (hence the part where I went out and bought it) – but now that it has received top ranking as the Best Business Book of 2007 by the 800-CEO-READ blog’s Business Book Awards, I might consider bumping it up in the queue a bit.