Sunday, October 11, 2009
Saturday I was sitting in a coffee shop reading a book when my ears picked up a news story on TV. You can read the story HERE. There is actually a school that is getting rid of the books in the library and going completely digital. What? Sad news. I understand what they're getting at in embracing technology and all, but no books in a library? Nothing but cold computers?
There's more to books than just information. Books are an experience. The joy of opening a book for the first time, the spine cracking, the feel of slightly textured paper between your fingers as you turn each page. The different colors, shapes and sizes. I could spend a whole day in Barnes & Noble just looking. It's like going to Marble Slab and being allowed to sample every flavor. You open books with expectancy, ready to be enveloped in some new adventure and to take a short reprieve from reality.
There is something private when you open a book that's just between you and the story that unfolds. It's almost as if upon it's opening you are automatically insulated from the rest of the world. At least that's how I feel. For me, in more awkward years (yes, I was much more awkward than I am now) books were a way to forget about the fact that I was a shy, tall, skinny, knobby-kneed teenager. Books were almost a defense at times. When Beauty & The Beast came out, I dreamed of having Belle's Library.
Maybe I'm just being nostalgic, but I don't think a computer screen will do the trick. I can see the convenience of carrying a Kindle, but again it's because you can't have the real thing. Just now, I'm imagining reading Jane Austen on my computer screen. Yuck! Something is all wrong about it. If we're headed in this direction, I will refuse. I can just see myself in Fahrenheit 451 fashion hiding my books and reading by flashlight to prevent them from being replaced by a Kindle. I'll take my grand kids to a Book Museum to show them what a book looks like, explaining to them that their Grandmother used to read from books, while memories of Reading Rainbow flash through my mind.
Ok, ok, so I really don't think it'll get to this point, but I couldn't help but think on it. I don't think I'm the only one that thinks that there's nothing like curling up with a good book.