I’m not talking about the timelessness or datedness of the contents, I’m talking about the durability of the book as a physical object.
I recently got this big, thick, hardcover book out of the public library. I wanted to read it because I had already read this book and apparently they’re part of a projected three-part series (“trilogy” really only applies in fiction). Anyway, before long it split open along the spine. Making sure no pages were lost, I took it back to the library and told them this book is “hurt.” The librarian told me it would probably be destroyed; they don’t repair books any more. Well, there was another copy in the system so I ordered it, got it, started to read it – and now it’s falling apart in my hands. It’s not an old book, only printed in 2001. That’s the problem, apparently. Almost any harcover from the '70s, probably from the '80s, would be sewn-sheet. Now they’re bound with glue! Why?! It’s not like, with modern technology, every book would have to be sewn by hand.
Sub-Pitting: So, I took the second copy back to the library, and explained the situation, and asked if I could please, please get it repaired so I could finish it. No, they don’t do that any more. Following the recent property-tax revolt in Florida, the Tampa-Hillsborough library system’s budget has been slashed and they had to reduce their staff by 50%. We really need a state income tax.