Saturday, December 10, 2011

Digital Readers, an essay

Digital Readers, an essay by Kathryn Pope.
.... because the magic of reading isn’t necessarily in the smell of the pages, and it’s not in the size and shape of the paperback. There’s nothing special in book binding glue. The magic comes in the way that we become absorbed in the stories and ideas of others. The magic is in the suspension of our disbelief, the beauty or cacophony of words, the way we move from our physical world to another when we enter a book. It’s in what David Lodge talks about when one of his characters suggests that the novel is the closest thing to telepathy that we can get. The book happens with the words, not the object—plus, if books are sacred as objects, rather than vehicles for the words inside, we’re already doing a bad job of treating them that way.

I love real bibliofiles. Or rather, real readers. Like the pretty lady says, "it's the content, stupid!" or words to that effect.
Kathryn writes really well too:
After work, I walked through the city, discovering New York’s indie bookstores. I listened to audiobooks on a cassette-playing Sony Walkman (job perk), and as I walked, I gazed at ads for something called an iPod, which made silhouettes dance on brightly colored backgrounds. I wondered why we still used cassettes. I started reading about how people would soon be reading on computers, how novels would come on Palm Pilots, how things might soon change. I dreamt of all sorts of possibilities—silhouettes dancing with books on brightly colored backgrounds.

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