A recent spate of book reviews, a discussion on Twitter and a quick check on my current collection has prompted me to write a post about the written word.
Travel books, guidebooks and outdoor specialist books form a sizeable but not the biggest chunk of my current collection. I have a fairly wide range of hobbies and interests reflected in the large number of books I own. At last count I have approximately 1000 books collected over 35 years within these 4 walls. There just isnt room in the house for them all to be on display so half reside in the loft (makes mental note to check how evenly they are stored up there).
Now I am, by my own admission above, a true lover of the written word…on paper…erm in books… But, the great Kindle cometh and it bedazzles all with its cunningly small package, wi-fi ability and lithiumness (ok so I made the last word up). I see that Kindle, reading pads, tablets and other hand-held electronic gadgetry seem to be catching the imagination of Joe (and Joanne) Bloggs. So what is it about such things that persuades people to give up wood pulp as a medium for reading the latest novel?
Joking aside, are we in so deep into a technological world that things arent real, progressive or exciting unless they have an “App” or are digital in nature? I understand that science pushes back the boundaries of what is small, or clever or possible but does it have to and does it hit the mark with the written word?
For me the answer is no and it really is down to a personal choice. Ever since I can remember, the ability to touch, feel, thumb through and read a real book is one of life’s indescribable pleasures. I always feel that a collection of books is a reflection of the nature of the person and I love seeing what other people read and collect. They are there, like wallpaper or pictures or objets d’art. A full bookcase is like an interactive mural, every piece, ever book tells a part of the story. Stories within stories, a 3 dimensional map of your literary journey.
Now to be fair I “get” the electronic versions, I really do. They are clever and light and can store so many books within the single unit. But, they are just not for me….but maybe they work for you?
So, the written word….how do you prefer yours?