Saturday, October 15, 2011

Miniature library

While ‘stumbling upon’ on the net, I was guided to a site which compared ‘kindle’ and ‘nook’ e-book readers, popularly called ‘e-readers’. Can’t really vindicate my thoughts but such digitization of reading hasn’t really impressed me.

I’ve always dreamt of having a big library at my home with enviable collection of books but this device is ought to make racks and almirahs a thing of past. I don’t think it would affect reading habit in a big way but yes, it certainly will drive away the essence of reading.

A mother narrating bed-time stories to her child when the spooky silence of night is enlivened by the sound of fluttering pages is one childhood memory everybody cherishes. This device is bound to make the coming generation bereft of this memory. Friends no longer can exchange bookmarks, lovers can’t secretly hide love-notes between the pages and one cannot highlight those portions of a book which he/she particularly liked (I am deeply saddened by this one). No more sweet remembrances of an old friend whose book you once borrowed but forgot to return and accidently discovered it on a dusty shelf.
That day is still very deeply engraved in my mind when I was gifted ‘the English teacher’, a book by RK Narayana, by my English teacher herself on the day of her farewell. An e- book can never be a symbol of such a strong emotional bonding.

I certainly am not against this invention. I am just apprehensive about the disappearance of rawness and tenderness attached to books. I know that the coming generation will find this comparison as vague and baseless as I find the one between e-mails and postal mails but somehow ruffling through pages makes me more happy than scrolling down.