Wednesday, March 18, 2009


When I'm given information, at times, I sit back and take in what is said and how it's received. I start to contemplate how I should go about things, and if it makes a difference in my life. Like a ripple on water, how far away am I that I should feel the nudge?

I started Impact of Technology today. I don't know why I decided to take it, now that I've taken notes and realized that the whole class will be of us looking in the past, then looking in the future, and, in my opinion, fucking it up traditionally and taking away our appreciation for what is around us.

I think it only hit home because we were talking about books, which I have found to be a sacred commodity. It started with my parents reading to me. My father, never to be outdone by another (my thoughts, not his), used to read us every book with great character; The Contests at Cowlick; Yertle the Turtle; and, a personal favorite (my dad can do voices quite well) There's a Monster at the End of This Book.

When I first heard about reading books on the internet, I thought, LAME. Then, WOWIO came into my life, and I thought it was grand, since they were free. However, I didn't like to read them on the net. I loved getting the webcomics and other comics in general. However, actually getting Jane Austen books and other such things, I wasn't too impressed. My eyes would hurt, and I couldn't cuddle my computer in bed. A computer gets hot. A book, I can read at all angles, too.

So, when the Kindle came out, I was mightily unimpressed.

Then, I realized how impressed everyone else was with it. Whether people actually are, or the people are getting paid to talk great about it, the idea of an electronic book is becoming an even greater idea to others than I thought possible.

My first instinct is to think, "Well, at least people are reading and becoming more literate! Lord knows we need it!"

But people aren't. Instead, they listen to the books, if they ever decide to read it. As we discussed in class today, I heard more than once the whispers of people saying how they'd like the book so they could say they read it, but really have fallen asleep to it.

I suddenly saw the future: We sit at our tables for class, scan a fingerprint, and all of our books, notes, everything is brought forth on the table, a large scale Kindle. They already have talked about the technology for a while now.

But doesn't that take away from the tradition and beauty of a book? They both have their bad sides. Just to name a few...

Kindle: Runs out of battery, fragile, no personality.

Book: Need a light to read, pages rip.

But there's just so much more to a book! The smell, the feel, the look... I love to read books that have creases, as it means it's been read over and over... A Kindle gets scratched and smudged. You don't have to wait for the page to load with a book--you just turn it. There's nothing like it.

I've always dreamed of having my own library like in Beauty and the Beast. I love putting my things on display, having people get caught up in the knowledge they portray. I could lose myself in a used book store for days, much less an actual book company. Most people read a book and they're finished--I've read so many of my books multiple times, I could write my own trivia games. You could say this is a passion of mine.

Instead, I find myself alone with this passion with many people--instead of wanting to feel the page, they feel screens. Or not even--many just listen to it, opting that reading is "too hard."

Literacy is becoming like math. Math is to using a calculator as reading is to never seeing the word, but listening to it. I'd like to say "At least their reading a book." But are they?

My intuition says to stay as far away from this as possible. I feel old, all of a sudden. It's a pure refusal to want to give in. Perhaps it's a fear of what else may happen if it kicks off well. Let's face it--nothing else stopped, and now we're dealing with so many other issues because of technology-without-thought.

"The most elegant feature of a physical book is that it disappears while you're reading. Immersed in the author's world and ideas, you don't notic a book's glue, the stitching, or ink. Our top design objective was to make Kindle disappear--just like a physical book--so you can get lost in your reading, not the technology."

But it does get lost in the technology. Kindle doesn't have the paintings on the front cover. Kindle can't have signatures from the author. And, despite the pictures, you wouldn't bring your Kindle to the beach. That's like bringing sand and dumping it on your laptop--just wrong.

Maybe I'm more angry at the fact that not only tradition but appreciation for the things in our lives are so easily taken away without my generation really questioning the word. It's whatever is easy and out of our eyes now.

All I know is that Kindle will never compare to the undownloadable physical book. Not with style or personal touch.


Random Fact: In medieval days, paper was made from animal skin. I'd kill to touch one of those books.

1 comment:

DeLost said...

I totally agree. I love immersing myself in a good book. The feel, the smell, everything. If I really like the book I'll pay extra for the nice copy.