I love books. I’d read anything, and I’ve read everything, though not necessarily in a very careful way. I just love books and stories. I don’t care if your story is high literature or a seedy detective novel. I’ll read it, and I’ll lie awake until I’ve finished it. When my shoulder hurts, I’ll turn over to the other shoulder to finish reading it. If your book is good enough, I won’t sleep.
The last time that happened was when I read a local writer’s book, City of Bohane, by Kevin Barry, but with any luck there will be many more to come.
Enter the Kindle. What to make of this gadget?
Kindles won’t go away and I don’t want them to. I’d like a Kindle myself if I could afford one, which I can’t, so please don’t take this as some sort of Luddite assault on the newer forms of delivery, as a media-savvy young lad might say. I don’t know what the media-savvy young lads actually say, since I’m no longer young and no longer interested in regurgitating media-friendly buzz-phrases, but still. Let’s assume the real movers and shakers would utter such nonsense. For the sake of discussion, so to speak.
One way or another, it’s irrelevant, since mediapromoting unformed youths are, by definition, brash, vainglorious fools, and therefore worthy of being ignored. Get back in your bedroom, boy! Finish yo prayers!
This ramble has little to do with the uneducated promo-kids and everything to do with those who actually read books. and who love the feel of them. The smell of them. The heft of them.
You might accuse me of hypocrisy, as one who inhabits the e-sphere, but I also inhabit the real-sphere, and never tire of tying the two together, because by this symbiosis shall we survive.
Though I often recoiled from that old lyric, There is Nothing Like A Dame, I think there is nothing like a book. Throughout my childhood and beyond, I could never go to bed without something to read, and even though I’m now incredibly old, the habit has persisted.
Something tangible is always better than something electronic. This Christmas, I want to be handed a real, genuine, corporeal book. I want to be given a thing I can hold in my hand and lie there in bed reading, if it grabs me. I want to lie awake all night waiting to find out what happen, but I want to turn the pages myself, not by swiping a screen.
And I want it to smell of paper and ink.
Is that too much to ask?