No Books



Since it is two weeks before Christmas and ten days before Hanukkah and I am still working at my paying job I have decided to take the easy way out and post something that does not require research or the manipulation of many photos in the cranky WordPress interface.  So, I add my voice to the books at RootsTech controversy.

I wasn’t at RootsTech last year and I won’t be there this year.  I have never been an official blogger for anything and I have no expectations of ever being one.  I doubt the people at RootsTech care at all about what I think. Yet I still manage to have an opinion or two.

No books.  Are you kidding me?  This reminds me of last year’s nonsense after RootsTech.  The alleged divide between old and young genealogists, the who gets to participate controversy, and endless stuff about sourcing.

Now it seems that the folks at RootsTech have decided that books don’t fit the young, hip image they wish to project.  Fine, do what you want, but it seems like a stupid business decision to me.  The majority of genealogists and most RootsTech attendees are still an older demographic.  We want to keep up with things techie, save forests by going paperless, and certainly have access to printed material online; but we love real, physical books too.

The book vendors still bring things that can’t be found online.  They also bring knowledge of what else is out there and where to find it.  I find them to be consistently the most interesting vendors to talk with at a meeting.

I haven’t seen RootsTech’s explanation for banning books, so perhaps it is a bit unfair to berate them about it.  Does anyone know the rationale behind this decision? Is their vendor space that limited?  Surely you could squeeze a little space for books in somewhere. I really hope this is not a “paper is dead” movement.  It won’t work because people rarely buy into stupid ideas for very long.


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