Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore

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The book Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore prompts us to think about the power of technology, the power of books, and the relationships between the two. Although the novel is a work of fiction, it does much more than captivate and entertain. It also makes us recognize ourselves in the technology-loving world of the book, as well as the role that technology and books play in our own lives. It also makes us yearn, at times, for the fun and excitement of the old-fashioned ways. In the end, the book reminds us that the old ways do not have to be abandoned, and the new ways do not have to be feared or avoided. A hybrid of the two can and should exist, and the result will be that people can love and use both books and smartphones to access information and become enriched with knowledge.…show more content…
When we first meet Clay, a website designer, he describes the start of an average day not so far in the past. He began his morning at his kitchen table, looking for a job -- something many of us can relate to. The author makes a point to emphasize how Clay is job-hunting. Not in a classified section of the newspaper, as was the way of our world not so long ago. He is looking for a job the way most people of the new millennium do -- by going on the computer. Clay says, "I'd sit at my kitchen table and start scanning help-wanted ads on my laptop" (3). The reader identifies with this, and also recognizes the technology buzz words that he uses -- words like "browser tab," "link," and "download" need no explanation. We all know what Clay means, because these words are part of our own everyday vocabulary, and we interact with technology in these ways every day. Right in the very start of the novel, the prevalence of technology in our world and our reliance on technology is established, in both the narrative as well as our identification with

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