Friday, January 14, 2011

The Luddite Spectrum

Friday, January 14, 2011

Yesterday morning’s breakfast meal from McDonald's came with a copy of the Philippine Daily Inquirer. Not having read a real newspaper for years, I’ve forgotten its distinctively inky smell and how it felt like to actually turn the pages, instead of just clicking the next page button as I’ve grown accustomed to through reading online. The actual act of holding the newspaper and the pure concentration it required of me made for a wonderful reading experience. Reading at leisure, I was able to savor every page and reflect on those items that engaged my attention: 1) Randy David’s insightful article on the Filipino’s religious devotion, manifested in the annual procession of the Black Nazarene of Quaipo, as “a vestige of feudal culture;” 2) the recently filed ordinance that bans sex and other indecent acts in public places—including hotels, hostels and boarding houses--in Boracay; 3) Conrado de Quiros’ mention of John Irving’s visit to Ilocos last Christmas, which most never knew or cared about – a redoubtable confirmation of “how literary heroes have fallen from the pedestal of the human race.”

This whole experience made me wonder about the future of the printed world when everything’s fast becoming digitized. And as a blogging, Facebooking, perpetually online 33-year old who reads the news through the Internet but rarely uses her Blackberry and prefers bookshelves filled with books to a Kindle, I do not know where I fall within the Luddite spectrum. Nothing electronic could ever replace the pleasure I get from holding and reading the actual text.

"In a world in which most things seem ephemeral, books imply permanence: that there exist ideas and thoughts of sufficient weight that they are worth preserving in a physical form that is expensive to produce and takes up space…. With its weight and solidity, a book signals to the world that there are ideas worth preserving in a form that carries heft, and takes up space; by its touchability, a book signals the importance of our engagement in an arena external to and larger than ourselves; and by sitting on a shelf, along which we can run both hands and eyes, a book signals the possibility of still being surprised by what we discover." (Stephen L. Carter, Where’s the Bailout for Publishing?)

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

i think it is time to FB or least know how to get around the damn thing. :)

Angeli said...

log in everyday and use it. that's how you'll learn.

Arti said...

I too love to read actual books, any electronic equipment cannot replace the real feel of 2 book!!
Have a wonderful day:)

Loree said...

I agree. There is nothing like a book. I don't find online reading quite as satisfying.

 
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