The Triumph Of Finishing Reading A Book

December 6, 2013
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Technology can be daunting. Change can be frightening. Being stuck in your ways can be traditionalist more than technophobe.

In this age of smart phones, tablets, iPhones and the like, we are able to communicate and source information and knowledge, literally at the flick of a switch, but what about the ways of old?

Taking the simple things in life and finding a sense of achievement can be a marvelous feeling. For example I am an avid reader, periodically. Once I have read a book, I like to either lend it or place it on a bookshelf or coffee table. Not only is this a conversation starter, but I also take the small joy in a sort of trophy of completion, a marker representing the commitment, albeit one to entertainment.


In the modern world though, tablets, telephones, Kindles and such products make access and storage of literature, easy, simple and affordable, and that is amazing. Storing a few hundred books previously took up a ridiculous amount of space and display, but on something the same size as a hard back cover, you can do just that. Is it too much though? Clearly not for everyone, as sales of reading devices goes into orbit, book sales suffer. If you look at an online entertainment store an ebook is remarkably inexpensive, books themselves however can sell for a few cents or pence because of dwindling demand for the physical copy.

This is a crying shame.

As I have said, not only does the completed book show a sense of achievement, the carrying of the book, I found at least, was amazingly eye-catching. The wonderful smell of books, new or old was an added bonus; the dark, musty but invigorating, yet dusty world of the second hand bookshop is close to being lost. Libraries are closing and merging branches; the availability for everyone is actually decreasing.

I am also a fan of purchasing or getting my hands on second hand books, or former library books taken out of circulation. Similar to a much used passport, stamps and cards show the lifetime and journey of that particular tome. Imagination fills in the gaps. Where has this copy been? Who previously owned this edition? How was it enjoyed? Are there any notes taken down inside? Incredible and amazing stories bind these incredible and amazing stories.

Clearly the irony of writing an article about the printed word for an online magazine is not lost on me but at least the point is being made. I fully understand that for many people technology is the way forward, books were heavy, expensive and cumbersome. Often difficult to get rid of, but for me looking at a small screen (whether it has adjusting back light, changeable font size, on hand dictionary and lightweight features or not) does not compare to folding open the spine of a hard back, inhaling the ink and press of who knows how many years and previous readers and falling into a world of fantasy, fiction or whatever the genre.

All being said and done, I still prefer my small token of achievement on the coffee table.

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