It hasn’t been too long since I joined WordPress and I instantly got to reading so many wonderfully constructed articles. I guess it is safe to say that I am a bookoholic and I have happen to accept this new term, which really isn’t new anymore since people are now using it constantly to describe people like us. Anyway, moving back to the point. I read articles about books, print books, being compared – well not exactly compared – but written in contrast with the use of e-books, nooks and kindle.
All of us are aware of how fast the technology is taking over, and I think it already has with all new inventions and creations that whatever we want is just a tiny click away. In this world which oh so influenced by technology, we somehow along the way have forgotten not just the importance of books, but the way they made a reader feel.
The introduction of e-books, nooks and kindle may have made books from every writer in the world easily accessible and of course, less costly but there was a time when people roamed around the bookstores simply because they loved hearing the bell chime with the opening of the door, simply because they loved the smell of the new and old books. There’s just something about picking the page in between your fingers and turning it over than scrolling down on your phone, tablet or iPad. There’s just something about staying in a bookstore for hours, scanning the shelves, thinking about buying every single book that there is. We search and search for books and when we find the one we are looking for, we cannot wait to purchase it and make it ours forever. This isn’t obsession, no. It’s the passion, a passion that is found in every reader, every writer and all those who are in love with literature immensely.
Now it might seem like I against the ‘technical reading’ but that isn’t true. I just feel that the real essence of reading is found when one is holding the book in their hands, focused on the words written on the pages, biting their lip as an intense scene is read and when the heart starts to pump because you don’t know what’s going to happen next as you feel the anticipation and turn the page, hearing that wonderful sound of the page being lightly scraped against the other. I am so not sorry for describing my love for books this way and I said earlier that this isn’t an obsession – well, maybe it is but it’s a healthy kind of obsession, one that gives you utter bliss and joy.
The other day I was having a conversation with my aunt and she told me how easier it was to have books so easily available online. I found it rather strange coming from her since she was a literature student back in her college days. I didn’t interrupt her and wanted to listen to her point of view; we have quite a frank, friendly relationship and I enjoyed talking to her about the latest novel I have read and she loved discussing any new novel she has read. And when she finished talking, I didn’t begin to argue with her right away but instead I just asked this one question, ‘But aren’t you supposed to love books like in print form?’ I was referring to her doing Masters in English Literature because what I’ve seen and experienced, we literature lovers are supposed to be intoxicated by the very presence of a book. And when it’s the first edition of a classic, oh boy. You wouldn’t want to intrude that person’s private bubble of warm fuzzies one typically gets just by holding it. My aunt looked at me, perplexed and then let out a rather exasperated sigh. I waited for her to continue and after a while she replied this, ‘Sweetheart, when you love books and have kids at the same time, technology like this comes in handy.’
Well to say the least, her answer did make some sense and I realised that it wasn’t that easy for her to spend her time in a bookstore, searching for books after books. And a part of me was thankful for such a creation because I was happy for those people who couldn’t get to read a book but had an alternative. A book lover doesn’t deserve to abandon his or her passion for reading and if there’s another way to enjoy and indulge in their favourite stories then I am no one to complain about it.
All in all, I would like to say that for me, no matter how much the time changes, the pattern, people or lifestyle changes, no matter what new technology gets introduced, I will always, always get that giddy feeling inside only when I am holding a book in my hands, knowing that its mine forever – a new dream, a new beginning.