2016-09-28

I Miss Books...

There is this device in my life which has become ubiquitous: My tablet.  It serves many purposes and is entirely useful to me.  For example: It reminds me of when to take certain medications, keeps track of when I took them and allows me to email that history to my Doctor.  It allows me to set the phone aside, do my work and still be able to take calls right there on the tablet.  I don't have to have both the tablet and the phone close by, just the tablet.  I can browse the web, connect to and do system administration tasks on my home server, modify pretty much any document including all those office documents, PDFs, etc... .  I have reference material available on every subject from bee-keeping to recipes to solar power.  I can print hard copy from it to pretty much any network printer if I choose to.  It allows me to order things on line, do my banking and even my accounting.  I can change my insurance plan.

And I can sit down and read a book on it.  But.....

It is not a book.  I honestly hardly ever pick up a book anymore, and I miss it.  I asked myself what it is that I miss about a book.  What is it that my tablet does not provide that a book does?  

What it boils down to for me is that a book is a single thing.  It has one purpose, which is to convey that which the author was thinking about to others.  And when I pick up that book, it becomes personal.  That author is telling me the story, and I have this thing in my hands which in some very real way connects me with that author and the story being told.  It is physicality.  The laying on of the hands.

As a single entity, the book allows me to disconnect from everything other than that which is in the book.  There is no worry about battery life, connection speed or bandwidth.  There is no backlighting to have to adjust, no little reminder sounds or pop-up messages, reminders or icons.  That tablet is so very handy for so many things.  But a book is so absorbing in its singularity and physicality.

I think it is time I learned to set down the tablet and to pick up a book again like I used to....  
Post a Comment