It survived because of the people who protected it.
|The "Sarajevo Haggadah"|
I am not a Luddite. Or rather, I've worked hard to avoid being labeled as one. I text my children and friends. I know how to use my cell phone camera to send pictures around cyberspace. I use computers and facebook and digital cameras and apps and programs and such. For heaven's sake, I'm even "Linkedin". What's more, I'm here in Blogland, right? Right. I am NOT a Luddite.
|Sarajevo Haggadah Illumination|
Then why am I so conflicted? Well, I'm a paper crazy, page sniffing, tactile book lover, that's why.
Many of my friends have gotten electronic readers recently. The Kindle, to be exact. And I'm not on board with it.
My resistance has nothing to do with technology. In fact, many of these friends who now have Kindles have trouble navigating facebook. I'm light years ahead of them when it comes to using the 21st Century tools of communication. Something is wrong with this picture.
I don't want to tote stone tablets around. I don't care for papyrus, or wish to write with a quill pen. I don't even remember the last time I needed a postage stamp or wrote a paper check.
I just want my books. Is that okay?
When we were little girls, my twin sister was obsessed with books. She carried her favorites with her at all times, tucked under her little arm like a schoolgirl, which we were as yet too young to be. As we got older, she would share with me what she found fascinating about choosing books. The stories, yes, to be sure, but it was about more than the words on the page. It was the entire experience. The size of the book mattered. The spine mattered. The size of the print mattered. But more than anything else, it was the paper on which the words were printed that mattered the most.
Joyce taught me to be a paper snob. Through her, I learned to choose the books that would end up on my shelves wisely. To pick them up and feel their heft in my hands. To open the front cover and determine if it were a first edition. To notice the shade of white, cream, or ivory the paper might be. To run my fingers down the page and feel it. Yes, to smell it, too. I suppose that what I learned from Joyce was a reverence of books, and of the process of creating them.
That reverence has never left me. Among my love for digital cameras, facebook, electronic banking, and all the other wonderful tools of our time, sits my love for actual honest-to-goodness books. What's to become of me?
Will I ever be able to tuck a Kindle into my carry-on bag before a trip with the same excitement I feel for selecting the book/s that will accompany me? Will I ever approach a Kindle with the same feeling of warmth and love as I approach my book shelves?
Mark Twain may have said it best (as he often did) when he said, "In a good bookroom you feel in some mysterious way that you are absorbing the wisdom contained in all the books through your skin, without even opening them." Oh, yeah. Wisdom by osmosis. Does wisdom by Kindle osmosis exist?
I'm on board the technology train, I really am. I just can't bring myself to want a Kindle. Does anyone else struggle with this?
|The Amazon Kindle|
Today, I wish you a pleasant read from a great book.