423b2e
423b2e

1.12.2012

falling behind the crowd



I am of conflicted minds when it comes to surrendering the lovely page by page turn of a book to a technological gadget such as the Kindle. I fear I will become like the dinosaurs, extinct, while the rest of my herd travels forward without me in this brave new world. I love the feel of a book in my hand. The smell of the paper. The naughty habit of turning down the corner of a page to mark my spot. I like reading all the little notes before and after the story, attempting to glean more insight about the author and publishers. I even like the dedications. I don’t write my poetry on a computer. I still write in graphed paper schoolbooks, folding the pages in a complicated origami as I revise poems again and again. Only when I am done and happy with the result, do I copy the poem into a computer document, later to post to my poetry blog. And that I do only to keep multiple copies of my work in case I lose one form or the other. For those of you who have succumbed to a Kindle (or similar gadget) I say, " Brave new you to leap forward with the trend." I fear it is here to stay.

xxx

16 comments:

gz said...

agreed, there is nothing like a real book.

J Cosmo Newbery said...

I like things that I can hold and smell good. Books too.

Gary's third pottery blog said...

OH! You are talking about books, and not.....well, Grit in the Gears favorite OTHER Boo__ topic. Right. Yes. I am old fashioned, love bookstores, books with paper and libraries :)

SL said...

So happy to know I'm not alone in this struggle! Logically, the electronics make a lot of sense but I love my books, cherish the books that friends and authors have signed, and love pulling a favorite book off the shelf to read one more time. Not to mention, what in the heck am I going to put on all those bookshelves when everything has gone electronic??

soubriquet said...

Mr Souberkwit lives in a house whose walls are lined with books. There are heaps of books that won't fit on the shelves, there are pretend bedside tables that are actually heaps of books with a cloth over them, there are damp books in the bathroom, books at work, books in the kitchen, books in boxes, books in the car...He tries to get rid of a few, but sadly, he acquires books faster than he loses them.
Mr Souberkwit needs decluttering therapy, he needs an attack of rapacious bibliothieves... He's not organised enough to set up an internet secondhand bookshop, and anyway, his books often have tea stains, bathwater damage, chocolate etc, who'd want them? Not to mention the ones used as table-levellers and otherwise bent folded, spindled and mutilated?

But a kindle? his gadget loving inner child yearns for one, but... where's the tactile beauty of paper? the sound of a page, the scent of inked paper? Nowhere to scribble a note to self, nowhere to polish the edge of a snagged nail.
No more browsing in ramshackle second-hand bookstores, no more reading of earlier owner's inscriptions.
No more bargains.
No more interaction with enthusiastic bookstore folk.
No heart.
No soul.
No.
No Kindle!

Unless.... Unless....
Ohhhhh save me!
Unless....
Unless I get ebooks as well as real ones.

Shoot me now!

goatman said...

I can't speak for others,they will do what they will do regardless of my opinion, but I can agree with you and many I have met who refuse to submit to gadgets.
The library where I went to college was the top floor of an old stone building. The stacks were very close together with (I may be remembering this with a bit of poetic license) bare light bulbs hanging down on a cord from the ceiling, and small movable footstools to enable access. The smell and feel of the old engineering texts --most of which were probably quite out of date -- was wonderful. Sometimes I would search for the oldest looking one just to see how the old yellow pages were soft and fingered. And once in awhile a surprise: someone had made notes and jottings in the margins to clarify a point or mark a passage, maybe with future perusers in mind. . .
Those books are now housed in a spiffy new building with much natural light and access, but no zeitgeist there. I feel lucky to have experienced the history.

And I ask you: how does one make margin notes (or bend the page corners up) on the kindles/clones?

Adullamite said...

Nothing will kill books. Kindles die when dropped in the bath anyway.

red dirt girl said...

and a cozy chair or bed to curl up in whilst reading! (and a cup of hot tea ...)
xxx

red dirt girl said...

Cosmo, you always make me laugh. So am I to assume that you like holding scented candles ?? odd fetish that ... ;)
xxx

red dirt girl said...

Hi Gary! I try to keep my boobie posts over at Lola Loves (she writes with a grin)... on books, agreed.
xxx

red dirt girl said...

Hi SL! Currently I'm living in a space with no room for shelves, so all my beloved books are in boxes in the garage. I feel bad about this, subjecting them to cold storage. You are right: books should be touched frequently, re-read, cherished. Electronic seems so, so ... cold and antiseptic.
xxx

red dirt girl said...

Souberkwit, I know about those books you are mentioning. In your case, I fear if you did remove them, the walls of your flat might cave in ... I don't think your space would know what to do with itself minus those books.

I know a boy inside of you longs for a Kindle ... mind Adullamite's warning: if it falls in the bath, the Kindle will die. I suspect you will cave and go electronic AND STILL prowl the bookshops for real books as well. You hedonist, you.

xxx

red dirt girl said...

goatman ~ I hear you about libraries ... what if they became just huge racks of mega-byte info with robots retrieving and shelving ... Arggggghhh! The stuff of Sci-Fi nightmares. I have a library within walking distance to my house. I don't like it, though, because it is new and feels 'empty' to me. I much prefer the crowded stacks you describe.

Indeed, how does one make margin notes, smooth bent corners on a Kindle? I suspect some engineer is working on that very same problem as I type. Will libraries become 'things of the past' ?? With schoolchildren making fieldtrips to see how it was done in the 'olden times'??

xxx

red dirt girl said...

Oh Adullamite, I do love your strong affirmation!
xxx

goatman said...

And pity the poor sucker who has to digitize all of Soub's books to allow input into the gadgets ° ° °

soubriquet said...

Besides which, what about the way in which we readers make secret assessments of the people we meet based on snooping through their bookcases?
I'll tell you, you can impress me with a few well thumbed volumes, but a kindle?
PAH!