Wednesday, December 30, 2009

An Homage To The Printed Page

Bare Trees
Bare Trees

Joyce Kilmer wrote his most famous poem to pay homage to the tree. Extolling its virtues, he took what is to most people and ordinary object and placed it on the pedestal he thought it deserved.
I think that I shall never see
A poem as lovely as a tree.
Well, if I were to follow his example, I'd write a poem about the lowly book.

Just recently I heard a news report that stated that ebooks were now selling over and above the printed page. This I just cannot believe! Perhaps I am behind the curve ball here, but why would anyone choose to stare at an electronic device instead? Okay, I know; I know. The irony of that statement now smacks me in the face.

I stare at electronic devices every day - my laptop, my telephone. I go out of my way to find people to text (though I will never outdo my daughter for number of contacts). I even set up my Facebook account to update me via SMS. That is a bit desperate, isn't it? But when it comes to a good book, to sitting down and allowing my imagination to travel, there is no substitute.

There's something so romantic about a book. I love to feel the weight of it in my hands, to caress the texture of the paper. I want to hear the rasp of the pages as they are turned. I like that I can know how long the story is just by looking at the thickness of the spine. I feel accomplishment when I reach the bottom of a page and thrill to start anew at the top of the next one.

Books become like old friends. They take up more space, but it is an honored space. Each one, with its own shape and size, sits nestled lovingly on the shelf. Esteemed scrolls, they rest there almost smiling, permanent remembrances of days and events and times. The creases in the paper display the enthusiasm of many private, happy moments. Ebooks just cannot substitute for any of that!

I am all for the electronic library. I have been able to read portions of classic novels, autobiographical stories, and even the personal diaries of figures from history, because of the efforts of a noble few who digitally saved the writings. The internet library is truly an amazing resource.

However, at least for me, printed books will never be replaced. I will participate in the electronic age. I will strive to keep up with the latest technology. But when I choose to immerse myself in a story, whether its a fictional or literal one, I will always seek out a printed copy. I will surround myself with letters and words and paragraphs written in ink.

John 18:5
John 18:5

Suzanne Williams Photography
Florida, USA

Suzanne Williams is a native Floridian, wife, and mother, with a penchant for spelling anything, who happens to love photography.

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