Thursday, April 26, 2012

What's A "Book"?

As I sit here writing my character bios while listening to some of Robert Palmer and The Ramones best, I can't help but wonder what the future of literature holds. Are there still going to be books in 10 years? 20 years? Or will writers and publishers eventually come to the conclusion that they turn more of a profit if they just release the giant slab of text for download to a tablet-thingy?

I for one hope that books will still be around for years to come, but more for people who truly appreciate them, rather than those of us who think things like "OMFG lolz I gotza reed da Hunger Games coz teh movie waz soooooooo kewl!" If you do things like this, you do not deserve a book, even though you desperately need one (Like a dictionary).

My dream, besides getting at least one novel published, will to one day have a large collection of hardback novels, tomes and manuscripts of every and all kinds. Hopefully it will look something like this:

The Astronomy Library of the University of Utrecht

To me, that is what comes to mind when I hear the word Library. Unfortunately, Library is becoming associated more and more with digital terminology instead. Most of us already have an iTunes library we use constantly, or various other digital collections of DVD's and documents used for enjoyment.

I don't mind the idea that we may eventually stop cutting down every tree in the world to print stories on pages nobody will bother paying the extra money to own. I don't mind that films and music will all be digitalised and no more plastic squares or shiny discs will sit on shelves and in boxes for years only to be chucked or sold when the next format comes out. What I do mind is the affect all the digitalness will have on our bodies.

The very thought of me reading an entire novel off a tablet-type-device makes my eyes start bleeding in terror.

I have crappy eye-sight to begin with, partly hereditary, partly because I loved reading as a child; so the idea that in the future my spawn will be reading Harry Potter at night not by the soft glow of a candle or a decorative lamp, but by the mild radiation of an LED monitor, makes me want to chuck my computer out my window right now.

But I won't, because I like technology. I just hope that they come up with a screen/television that won't completely f**k up your eyes. I mean that 3D stuff is not good for you. At all. Did you know that little kids shouldn't really use a Nintendo 3DS because it's bad for their eyes? How intelligent of a game company to make a console FOR KIDS and then advise THE KIDS not to use it because it might harm THE KID'S little eyes. Instead they just let the older ones like myself use it because they couldn't give a s**t about our crappy eyesight.

So when a Library goes from this:


To this:

I just hope that people will still appreciate the book. I for one will keep collecting and re-reading paperbacks and hardbacks of all kinds long into the future. I love the feel of a book in your hands, the knowledge crammed into the tiny pages. I love the look of all the different shapes and covers lined up on shelves, colourful or embossed spines meshed together. And I love the smell. That beautiful musty smell of an old book whose pages have gone orangey and speckled; or the fresh new smell of an unopened book.

The stories and information within them may live on outside of the paper, but it just feels right to be able to flip through pages and escape.

I will always love books.

1 comment:

  1. Amen, sister.

    (If you want to prevent your future offspring from reading Harry Potter by the glow of LED radiation, I recommend keeping your own copies to pass it down to them.)

    -Barb the French Bean