Monday, January 25, 2016

farewell, book-reading

As the books on my shelves take on an undeniable and yet mysterious irrelevance, here comes the BBC Magazine to take a stab at parsing and particularizing the dwindling, dwindling, dwindling of paper volumes. What, if anything, does it portend? Naturally there are still enough people who were weaned on paper books to cry out, "the sky is falling," but since it's actually happening ... well, what about it?

The first thought into my mind is that if information is widely available on the Internet ... who cares? The answer to me is, how will anyone know anything if the electricity goes off? But perhaps that's a minor concern. I do sense a dumbing down, a lack of critical thinking that has fallen off into well-heeled bias and belief, but I haven't got the energy to find out if my bias and belief holds water.

What was that John Fowles novel in which a small segment is devoted to a future time in which a shopping list is unearthed and becomes a kind of Rosetta Stone to the past ... replete with ordinary comestibles like balogna? Or did I make that up?

I can't really enter this fray with much gusto. I do know I'm glad I won't be around for the denouement.


  1. Too sad. Some of my best cuddles have been with books. I too shall miss the denouement.

  2. A dumbing down? With the resurgence of "flat earth theory"? Scientists have made great strides forward. They're trying to raise grant money to prove that the earth rotates because of a giant hamster running inside the hollow earth.

  3. We will always need books and newspapers, you can't get a decent fire burning with an iPad or tablet.

    You can't wipe your bum with your smart phone )

    That old broken stool or bed leg can't be propped up to the right height with a laptop.

    Seriously though, a lot of people hate trying to read off screens of any kind, my son loves books but won't use a Kindle or similar and many of his peers say the same thing.

    Reading is just not the same without the feel and smell of the pages. Without a power source all the digital data in the world is useless and unobtainable, there is a reason the written word , be it on plasticised paper or parchment has survived so long.