Sunday, October 31, 2010

Think About Books

I love books. I love the feel of one in my hands. I love to touch and smell each page as I read. I fold over the corners of the pages when there's something I want to come back to. I often make notes in the margins and underline important or interesting points. Inevitably, I also correct typos or grammatical errors that I find.

Digital society, though, is trying to make the book as I know and love it disappear. Kindle, the Nook, CafeScribe, and other digital platforms threaten independent bookstores. But, I'm not interested in talking about the business aspect of this subject. Instead, I wish to wax nostalgic about the way a book's pages yellow and crinkle with time; about how I can fall asleep reading and wake up on top of the book, its cover bent or torn; about how I can spill a few drops of my soy pumpkin spice latte on a page and know that the stain will be there for the life of the book; and about how I can look at a unique price ticket on a book and remember where I was when I bought it and, maybe, even why.

A book can create stories and moments other than the one its words tell.

I once knew of a person who started to read the book Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig. When he realized that the book wasn't actually about motorcycle maintenance, he threw it across the room. How many people will do that with their digital books?

Think about it.

1 comment:

  1. Can one imagine book shelves with no books, only a kindle or nook sitting coldly on a shelf. I enjoy being in another person's home and looking at the books on their shelves. Not only is it a conversation started, but an insight about that person. Keep us thinking!