Wednesday, February 1, 2012

For the Love of Books

I’ve always loved being in bookstores and scanning all the awesome books that are stacked in endless rows of wooden shelves. I love how it’s usually quiet, with just a handful of people sitting on the carpeted floors, reading. And I suppose it wasn’t always that way, but I especially love how they encourage you to open the books and read them, even before deciding to buy it.

I think books are a tricky business. It’s difficult nowadays to engage someone in a page full of words when its much simpler, and much better for some to capture someone’s eye with pictures. But that’s the great thing about it I suppose. Words can bring about worlds that are limited only by our own imagination. It’s unlike any film where the viewer is fed somebody else’s creation with no other choice but to accept it as it is. Unfortunately, books don’t have the same appeal to most people.

A few days ago a friend of mine introduced me to Amazon’s Kindle. I thought it was pretty interesting because it had about 1,500 books, more than ¾ of which I hadn’t heard of. It took me about an hour just to decide which book I wanted to begin reading and even then, I was constantly changing my mind. I realized then that Kindle had an unfortunate effect on people in terms of their commitment to reading a specific book. Because there are so many choices, and so many that you can download for free, books have become somewhat dispensable. You read the first few pages, decide its no good, delete it and move on to the next. After all, there are so may of them anyway. It’s really quite unfortunate to be dismissed so lightly considering the amount of time the author probably put into that piece. I guess this is one reason why the actual manuscript seems more valuable. It’s a physical representation of someone else’s hard work that can’t be disregarded so easily. Digital forms are great. They’re cheap and are so easy to access. Even then though, nothing truly beats the real thing.

Joni R. Gomez, Entry # 7

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