Thursday, September 3, 2015


In the current season of my life I have come to rely on books as a friend to keep me company. In good times and bad times my stories are always there to welcome me and envelop me in one great adventure or another. Whether I am sitting out on my porch during the summer or laid out in front of my fireplace in the winter, I can seamlessly enter lands beyond my imagination. Deep space exploits, adventures in sorcery, breathtaking worlds beyond worlds. All are to be found in the pages of my books. Of course today many younger folks tend to hold the notion of a book only as an electronic doo-dad. To actually think that when I say "book", I mean an object consisting of printed sheets of paper bound together, would either result in uncertain looks or mutters held under the level of hearing. However, I am a lover of books. I like the smell, the feel of the pages under my fingers, and the trophies they make in my own personal library. A big game hunter puts the heads of his magnificient quarries up on his walls. He does not store images in a database that he keeps in his pocket.

However, for reasons of practicality, I have been forced to admit that when I travel, taking along physical books is a burden. Not only do they take up significant space in my briefcase and my suitcase, but the bindings can easily get torn and the pages wrinkled as I try to cram them back into their assigned spots and corners. This realization has led me to purchase an "e-reader". Plastic case, glass screen, and menus have taken the place of my usual, my comfortable. I wonder if the lands that I travel to in my leisure will suddenly seem just a little less real? Will my picturesque vistas degenerate into washed-out, pixelated 8-bit scenes? I worry that the characters will come across as more two-dimensional. Will my peace and respite from staring at electronica all day long be taken from me? Time will tell.