By Bill Storie
“Books can be dangerous. The best ones should be labeled “This could change your life.”
This quote always gets me thinking whether libraries should be closed and we should have a central iPad place in town where we can all sit (quietly of course) and educate ourselves electronically.
Have we actually given up the idea of opening a hardback or paperback and enjoying the words inside?
It used to be the case that on a plane we would rummage through our carry-on bag to get on with the next chapter of our book while the plane wasn’t even off the ground. The nose would be planted inside and the captain’s announcements ignored. Then we’d fall asleep and wake up with our fingers stuck in the book, but in the wrong place, and we’d spend the rest of the flight trying to remember if the butler had committed the deed before we fell asleep or were we just dreaming. Oh well, now time to deplane.
Nowadays the Kindle devices (I think that’s what they are called) are all over the place, especially on airplanes. Now everyone peeks over other people’s shoulders to chuckle at them having the old version, unlike you who is current, and thus cool. You show off by holding it above your head when toddling off to the toilet whether you need to go or not. The joys of airline travel. Where we can pretend we’re someone important.
Back to the library.
I love libraries. I have always loved going there and reading, writing, chilling out or wandering the aisles for new stuff that might interest me. Some long lost tribes of Central America have been discovered and someone has written a book about them. Who knew?
There’s something reassuring about being in the library. It’s almost like the airplane travel thing – I must be clever cos I’m in the library. Only smart people come here. Also being in a place where people actually know that they have to be quiet is a revelation in today’s Gigabyte Circus World. The funny thing is though when someone does speak, the rest of us in unison go “Sshhhh” making a much louder noise than the guy who spoke. I love it. “Be quiet” – and no-one gets offended. In fact, you are the hero of the others. You had the cohunes to take action.
Back to books.
So if for no other reason than we need buildings to Ssshh people in therefore we need libraries, therefore, wait for it, we need books to fill them. Brilliant deducing and dot-joining Bill. The publishing world will thank me endlessly I imagine.
Seriously though I do like books. Always have, always will. I love the feel of something in my hands that doesn’t “hum” (steady now, don’t go there !!!). Better still I love the notion that I can have 5 books on the go at the same time. If I get fed up reading one then I can lay it aside, go to another and keep reading something fresh. Some books I started 45 years ago are still lying on my bedroom shelves with a finger stuck in them. One day I will finish them I promise.
I also really take my hat off to people who write books, fiction or non-fiction, makes no difference.
The amount of time and effort and research and frustration that people put into writing is to be applauded. People who can write fresh material every day of their lives, typically in the 2,000 words a day range are good people in my book, to coin a phrase. I will never-ever-ever Sshhh these folks.
And I also don’t care if people read hardback, paperback, Macback, backpack or whatever. Let the masses read I say. The book has lasted hundreds of years and will, in some format or other, last hundreds more. That pleases me.
So go buy a book today, or download one, or better still write one and UPload it. If you write it they will come. I will make sure you get seen by thousands of people around the world through our Olderhood networks and platforms. Go on, you can do it.
Join the new Olderhood Book Club.
Books r Us.
By Bill Storie