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"Reading, no batteries required--A genuine book has a soul of its own."

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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-22-12 05:45 PM
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"Reading, no batteries required--A genuine book has a soul of its own."
Reading, no batteries required
A genuine book has a soul of its own. It is tactile, beautiful, accessible. It tells a story; it is itself a story.

By Patt Morrison

April 22, 2012

Tenderly, the lover caressed his beloved. So pale, so smooth. He tilted his head forward, the better to inhale that scent rich and enticing. Fingertip to spine, feeling every contour, he pressed his face closer and turned a page.

I don't know what you were thinking about, but I was talking about a book. A real book.

The Kindle and its ilk are just gizmos with pixilated screens. Hit the off button and its borrowed character vanishes. A genuine book has a soul of its own. It is tactile, beautiful, accessible. Not only do its contents tell us stories, it in itself is a story. That rare copy of Sir Isaac Newton's "Principia" did his own august eyes behold it? And that first edition of "Pride and Prejudice" whose ladylike hands held it, turned its pages by candlelight? The old copy of "The Cat in the Hat" is beloved not only for the tale it tells but for the crayoned personalization added by each generation of a family's children.


Yet paper and parchment are still around, still legible, still "working" multiple centuries later. You don't need to wait for the page to load. All the technology it needs to work is the human eye. No password, no batteries required. A book doesn't stop working when it's dropped. You can read it on the tarmac even after the command to turn off all electronics. It isn't ruined when it gets wet (the salvage operation after the 1986 Central Library fire proved that, and how many books have I dropped in the bathwater and dried them out?). The only grave threat to a book is a flame, accidental or deliberate. Books are immensely, symbolically, mystically powerful; the fact that fearful humans ritually burn them, the way they once burned witches, attests to it. No book, someone said, has the power of a burned book.

I owe to books so much of what is rich and delicious in my life. Landlocked as I was growing up in a small town, the book was a door. To open a book was to open a door to anyplace. It was a time machine crafted of paper, a 300-page passport into Dickens' Victorian London, where children were swept into pickpocket gangs or beaten and half-starved in factories; into the silent desert tombs of Howard Carter's expedition to find Tutankhamen; into the thick of the Civil War at Antietam with Clara Barton; or off on a comet with Jules Verne's imagination as my guide.

I journeyed to places, imaginary and real, that I could never have seen or known except for this pound or so of paper and ink in my hand. I had never been aboard a yacht, but I knew it down to the capstan. I had never climbed Mt. Everest, but George Leigh Mallory took me there. These were my friends and my teachers, as real as any kids in the playground, as any teachers at the chalkboard.

Our town librarian let me cruise the grown-up shelves, "overserved" me by letting me borrow more than the usual weekly allotment, and always had suggestions ready when I came back for more.

We had no bookstore and, to paraphrase Scout in "To Kill a Mockingbird," nothing much in the way of money to spend, anyway. My parents had acquired for me a set of brilliantly illustrated children's encyclopedias by driving 11 miles out of town to the big supermarket. There, for every $25 you spent on groceries, a dollar bought you another volume of the encyclopedia. A couple of times a year, a book fair came to town and set up shop in the school gym, and my parents managed to let me buy two books. I think I've taken less time to choose a car than I took to walk slowly through those rows of tables to make my pick.

MORE..and a good fun read at...........

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lbrtbell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-23-12 08:59 PM
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1. And on a practical level
Books can be reused for other purposes when they wear out. And if the paper is from well-managed forests, their environmental impact isn't that bad, either.

Anything electronic requires electricity or some sort of battery to function, and that's not good for the environment.

Long live paper books! :patriot:
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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-23-12 09:34 PM
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2. When the lights go out...and there's only you, a candle or your flashlight beam
a book is your friend.

Given the storms, hurricanes and power outages of the last years...I'd rather be alone in the dark with just a wee bit of read a sentence bit by bit...from "my friend" ...the book.

I do own a Nook and use it...but it's not the same. It can't last as long as my candles and battery flashlight can.

I think both can co-exist...but, "backups" are prudent going forward.. At least..that's what I think.

It's good to have a "back up" always the times we live in. New Technology is great...but, we need to still have some self reliance. A Match and a pile of wood can still allow one to read...if one has a book.
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