Reading the Old Fashioned Way

As tech savvy as I am, I find myself frequently embarrassed by my level of dependence on technology even for trivial matters. Technology is definitely a boon, especially to our frenetic, time pressed generation. Sadly, this boon comes with a price; it is making our lives somewhat bereft of charm. When I was younger, I was under the impression that automating our daily lives was a good thing, scoffing at adults who chose to slave away, go that extra mile to ensure that things were perfectly cooked or cleaned while the same or perhaps better results could be achieved by machines. But as I grew up and was introduced to the realities of automation, I understood that mastering it would make my life easy but will not necessarily satisfy me. For, my lifestyle would be so synthetic and generic that one would think that it just hopped off a very well oiled assembly line. At times, I get amused by the desperation with which we are ready to replace all our activities and interactions with something as inconsequential as a touch of a button. What is even funnier is that we are so far ahead in the automation time line that the idea of something being hand made is now a novelty and seen as a dying art.

In most areas of my life, I have allowed myself to become a slave to technology. However, there are a few aspects which I consider too sacred to let technology invade it. Reading is one such aspect. I love to read and frankly, new developments in this area makes the act a lot less charming. I have tried reading novels on phones and tablets but like an insatiable romantic, keep returning to the good old paperback. A lot of friends tease me saying that I read the old fashioned way. To them, an ebook reader is the perfect gift technology could present to me. It does solve a lot of problems, the biggest one being that it saves space. My house would be a lot less messier if I bought myself a Kindle. But it is just not the same, is it? I love my Ipad and the fact that it is so sleek and stylish. But I hate reading on it. I read the entire Game of Thrones series on my it but the entire experience left me underwhelmed. In the beginning, I was baffled by my aversion to reading on my many gadgets. In fact, when I bought my first smart phone, I was sure that I would love reading on it. I quickly realised that I was highly mistaken.

Even after so many years of reading novels, I continue to be in awe of literature. Lately, I have come to realise that the pleasure comes not only from reading the wonderful words written in the book, but also from holding the source of the said wonder. There is a lot of magic packed in the pages of books. The smell of a new book, the pleasure of the paper brushing against my fingers, the wearing of the spine as I progress through the book; how can a gadget replace that? I love buying books and take a lot of pleasure in building my book collection. At times when I cannot sleep, I just go to my bookshelf and just gaze lovingly at my books. It is therapeutic indeed. Scrolling through a list of titles on an LED screen does not provide the same thrill. Not to mention the immense strain in puts on one’s eyes.

My books are like my friends who have joined me at various stages of life but never left me. Their pages are the confidantes of my many emotions I had while devouring them. I recently finished re reading “Love in The Time of Cholera”. The words of Marquez capture inexplicable magic but the pages of my copy of the book also capture my astonishment at his genius and sincere sadness at his death. Just as the pages of “The Great Gatsby” preserved my grudging sympathy for Jay Gatsby and the pages of “Jane Eyre” recorded my resolve to adopt a certain brand of feminism.

As much as I fight it, the process of reading is evolving with the changing time and will reach its consummation. Perhaps the next generations will see books as a relic of the time gone by. They will never know the pleasure of holding a book just we will never know the pleasure of doing so many other things. But this is the price we pay for evolution.

Written in response to Daily Post – Handmade Tales

 

 

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9 thoughts on “Reading the Old Fashioned Way

  1. True! You said it ryt. We don’t get he book reading experience while we read on tabs or other gadgets.. any given day paperback is what i prefer.
    Cheers!!

  2. You would be nuts if you gave up reading books the not “old fashion “way but the normal way. The touch of the paper, I don´t know just everything about it. Plus there is also health benefits, not kidding, it is proven that staring too much time at a screen and reading from a screen will affect your eyesight. I see people on buses reading from and ipad or whatever it is, I´m not too much into technology, I recently entered something called twitter,at age 30! But I just can´t read a book from a screen, maybe I´m the strange one, but physically my body is unable to do it.

    • Believe me you are not strange for not being able to read a book on screen. It is just a sad, impersonal way to read! Welcome to twitter by the way. I don’t hate twitter but I think its a bad influence sometime. Nobody does anything worthwhile on it but strangely feel very productive :/
      Thanks for reading!

      • That´s the word I was looking for, impersonal.
        I only use twitter once every century, and is just to tweet other people, it seems I developed the impulse that once I read something good I just hit the tweet button…. and that´s strange 😉

      • haha that is strange. I try very hard not to tweet frequently and I succeed too. I feel there is an immense pressure to be witty all the time on twitter which I cannot be! It is difficult to make mundane things sound so interesting and twitter does exactly that!

  3. Pingback: Who Made You? | It's Mayur Remember?

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