Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Lost Art of Reading a Book.

Kindle. Nook. iPad. When did we become so lazy that it became too daunting of a task to even turn the page of a book? I can understand the convenience of having your whole library in the palm of your hands, but what's the fun in that? Nothing is quite as exciting as buying that book that you've been waiting with baited breath to finally be released, turning each crisp page and smelling that oh so heavenly new book aroma. As you get closer to the end of your novel, you must continuously talk yourself out of flipping to the final pages in order to discover the fate of the characters within your gripping tale. And finally...when all is said and done, placing your ear-marked, tear-stained and battered book on the shelf with all of your other literary conquests.

The thought of seeing the words of Shakespeare, Roald Dahl, William Blake or Mary Shelley digitally transferred to a screen feels almost offensive. It's possible that because I was an English major, I hold the utmost respect for the written word, but I also wince at the thought of having to turn on a screen in order to catch up on my current novel. And what if this new fangled machine happens to break, run out of batteries or lose your place while you're reading? Should your device go kaput while reading C.S. Lewis' "Perelandra", would one never know if Ransom accomplished his mission or even returned to Earth? How devastating for one to have to live in pure anticipation and panic, not knowing which way their novel would commence.

Needless to say, I'm more than happy to have heavy, numerous boxes filled to the brim with all of the books of my literary past, present and future. It may be a pain to lug around with every move I make, but I will forever choose to stand my ground in offense to the electronic book. I'll leave you with this quote from the great John Milton's "Areopagitica", he was blind so the electric book would hold no impression for him:

"For books are not absolutely dead things, but do contain a potency of life in them to be as active as that soul whose progeny they are; nay, they do preserve as in a vial the purest efficacy and extraction of that living intellect that bred them."

Happy reading fact I think I'll go do some reading right now.