Monday, 13 October 2014

Books, real books, are magic portals made of paper and memories.

Books, real books, are magic portals made of paper and memories. 




How wonderful to hear the news that book sales have surged leaving kindle books in the dark. Paper is well and truly alive and more popular than the e version. Books-sales-surge-as-readers-prove-that-paper-isnt-dead.

All hail paper, the book reading technology resurgent. Eight years after the first Amazon Kindle and five years since the first Apple iPad, lowly pressed wood pulp is on the rebound.
Were you surprised? I wasn't. We tend to skim read on an e-reader or kindle on pc and are far more likely to be distracted by incoming emails and notifications from social sites and games online.
 Plus you just can never beat having a real book in your hand, the smell, and the turning of the pages. Just the sheer pleasure of the shape and texture of a book. The mere sight is a pleasure to tantilise the brain.


There is simply nothing better than a good book.  A real book, and by a real book I am talking about the ones made from paper and trees.
 As I flicked through the faded pages of a well read and now worn hardback book earlier today I found myself reading autographs and inscriptions, and admiring cover art, which brought back memories, not only when I last read it, but the very first time I read it.
This book was given to me as a child and whenever I open it and started reading from it, memories flood straight back to the time when I first read this book.
Remembering how my Grandad had handed it to me as a gift, and then I also remember the tune he would whistle, so now I have that tune in my mind too!
 That memory may not have been opened if I had not opened that book just now. There’s something...
just something I can’t explain, about the way a book feels to hold and read that no digital version can match. Something magic that is made from paper and memories.


You use more than your 5 senses when you pick a book up, you use your mind. The memories it evokes and still contains between its pages whenever you care to open it.
Yesterday I felt like I was holding a story, an entire world ready for me to explore- I’ve never felt that way on my e-reader. I’m talking about the weight of the hundreds of pages, bound up in your hands. I’m talking about the soft breeze of flipping through the pages, front to back, then back to front. How it fits perfectly into your hand. It must be because it is made of paper and memories.
The smell of the book. Oh wow the smell of a bookshop, is there anything  more glorious?
 A lot of people have books as decorations, sitting on a bookshelf to make the person look all literary and stuff. I have all sorts of books on my bookcase, new and old. They do not need to be in any order or a certain order, and I do not hide the tatty or older ones away so it looks neater to the eye. When I read the same book digitally or from a book, I feel completely different, and can only fall asleep properly with the paper version. Could it be the colour of the paper? the smooth feel on the fingers of each page, the size of the text, the cover, and the way I like to flick the pages all of this affects how you feel when reading a book. Sliding finger right-to-left doesn’t capture how it feels to turn the page of the book made from paper.

But I also love reading digitally because it means I can read anywhere, digitally is convenient for time and for the pocket. It can never take away a book though, so in this instant it is a totally different experience. They are both totally different things. So for this reason you can have both.



Life moves fast and just because everyone seems to be gravitating towards a life of electronic screens and wireless connections doesn’t mean you have to leave everything behind. Keep a hold of the book, and keep a hold of the memories. Relish in the 'simple and beautiful'. The Kindle may be the future, but you can't write your name in it, and you can't add it to a bookshelf and enjoy the view and the simple pleasure of watching the next person enjoy your bookcase and smell its age between the pages. Whether new or old.
You can’t fall asleep with it on your face, drifting off into a dream from the imagery it instills.
You can’t pass it down to your kids, gifting them with the most moving words of your own young adulthood.

  In a world where you can just forget everything that's going on around you; where you are swept up into a whole other universe expressing the other character's feelings, memories, the pain or anger, confusion, sadness, happiness and also forget everything. Books are our escape. Everything is forgotten about until the book is put down.



What magic a book contains, and what magic we can retain for always from the pages of a paper book.




















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