Sunday, May 13, 2007

Wave of the Future?

Bill Gates (you know who HE is, doncha?) recently mentioned that everything in the future will be read electronically.

As I sit at my dining room table writing this, I'm surrounded by bookcases. I have 10 total between the dining room and living room - in various sizes and devoted to various subjects - one is just for Gettysburg and the Civil War.

I have to admit that having one device to hold all of this sounds intriguing. I could carry all the books I'm reading (which is usually three at a time) in one devise. I could also have my reference books on the same devise (or a separate one if I wanted to be really special). That means no matter where I go, I could have access to all the books that now take up 10 bookcases (coffee table, end tables and tote bags). Hmmmm?

I think about this for a minute and then look up at the bookcase that houses poetry. "Maya Angelou." I get up and pull that book off the shelf - along with the Yeats that's on the shelf below her. "Wow - Octavio Paz." Heather got me hooked on his poetry - good one to read on Mother's Day. "Harlan Ellison? - now how did 'Deathbird Stories' get stuck next to Paz?"

I sit back down and start to write again but my gaze drifts up at the wrought iron bread rack next to the patio door- the first two shelves are devoted to books on "My Boys" - the Beatles.

On the church pew behind me I've stacked some of my Arthurian legend books. I'd taken them off the shelves to do research on a class I want to give and an old time travel I'm dusting off.

And then I think about when I was a kid. "Always has her nose stuck in a book" Pop would say about his oldest. I did and it was a good thing. I used my books to escape. I used to sleep with books on my bed. I would imagine my bed was a magic carpet and that it would take me away, my books safely at my side.

I love new technology. I want a handheld reader. I want to have the ability to download several books and carry only a slim electronic device on a plane. Oh, wait - I wouldn't be able to read during take-off. Drat. Still I want one.

But I want to keep my "real" books.
My books are like old friends. Good old friends. You may not talk to them everyday, but when you want them, need them, they're there. All you have to do is look up and see Maya, William Butler, Octovio, John, Paul, George or Ringo.


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