Paper cuts or cutting edge technology!
In this era of digitization, where cutting edge is mostly technology, there are some people who are guilty of having a predilection for the paper cuts(books). Books were never just about reading but the entire experience of going to bookstores like Kitaab Khana or such classic stores, browsing through hundreds of books just to find the right one and then taking it home only to read and escape the world for that time.
Every book has a story associated with it. They are physical reminders of intellectual journeys. Fond memories of summer holidays which would pass by reading books availed through school library with the date of return stamped on it. Enid Blyton written in a fancy font conjures up the memory of late night meetings of the secret seven. The strong character sketch of women in Sidney Sheldon books blew our minds. Monsoons which would roll by while we are still beguiled with the distinct cover and print of the book. Being glued to the book in the balcony with a big coffee mug, one just felt like ceasing the moment. Sometimes we would find bookmarks and travel tickets in old books which would fly us to the time and remind us of the beautiful journey one read that book in. Hard bound books always had a different sensation to it. They look and smell good! And have a human touch to them.
E Books do have the advantage of saving space but it can never fill the void of not having a study room where books which your father or maybe grandfather read used to be stacked. Finding small remarks on pages instigates your imagination to live in that era when they were put. A kindle sure fits in 7 by 7 inch space but it cannot give an experience of holding the book. It was reported in The Guardian last year that readers using a Kindle were less likely to recall events in a mystery novel than people who read the same novel in print.
There is nothing quite like giving a book to a friend hand and saying you have got to read this. Sure there are ways to share eBooks but the warmth would never come in sending an e-mail or paying someone on PayPal. It has been one of the best alternatives to a gift since ages. When you open that book it reminds you of the person who gave it to you .It used to be counted somewhere between handmade cards and materialistic gifts.
Having a collection of good books in those days sure used to set one apart and but kindle a lot of time becomes an element to show off. Readers are never inhibited to try out something new but the book has to convince them to buy. Earlier, buying books were a thoughtful process but now millions of eBooks are available and maintaining your own collection is not all that earnest.
Technology has connected us all in a wonderful way but it has also divided us at the same time. One can say no to sharing a kindle but no one ever said no to sharing a book. It, in its true sense created love and warmth. With all due respect to cutting edge technology sometimes paper cuts are still, a more charming affair.
Neha Singh | PGDM 2015-17