I refuse the 21st century

DH and I were having a brainstorm session last night on how to find more space in our little house. We have a 4BR house, with all of the bedrooms being occupied by us and our 3 kids. DH, upon acceptance of a new job offer in May, began working from home twice a week. We got rid of the TV in our bedroom and replaced it with an old table and just-about-as-old computer for him to use. This arrangement has worked okay for awhile, but now DH is complaining of too many interruptions (what; don't people constantly enter his office at work to sort laundry/give kisses/ask "where did you put the _____?"/complain that someone isn't letting them watch TV?). So, we've been trying to figure out what we could turn into office space.

During the discussion, he suggested that we get rid of all the bookshelves in our house and replace them with a Kindle system. A Kindle system involves something called electronic paper, about the size of a paperback book, which can store up to 200 books and lets you read them, one page at a time, on a screen. It also has wireless access to the Kindle store, where you can buy books at around $10 each. "Think of all the space we'd save!" he mused. I know he was also stumping for anything to replace our Wal-mart-cheap bookcases, which I'll admit do need to be replaced, are from Wal-mart, and do look cheap; since they were bought out of desperation when we were tired of getting our books out of boxes but too poor to afford what we actually wanted. Apparently this system costs less than replacing the bookcases with the desired pieces, which I know he thought would appeal to my frugal side. But although I have embraced much of the new technology of various kinds that's now out there (I wouldn't be blogging if I didn't), I choose to remain one foot firmly planted in the past on this subject.

Get rid of my books? I love them! I love going to my shelves in search of something to read or reread - and finding it. I even just like looking at them. Doing such serves as sort of a history of our life: here's a couple of my journals from when I was a teenager, on that shelf are a few textbooks from our college majors that we each felt were worthy of keeping, over here is the novel I used to pick up while I nursed my first baby, there's a whole row of book club books I loved, not to mention birthday and Christmas gifts, etc. And I love lending books to friends! When someone mentions a book they'd like to read and asks if I've read it, it's so much more fun to say, "Yes! You can borrow my copy!" than to just refer them to the library. (Let's recall Sesame Street and remember that sharing is fun!) And if they like it - and if my own library allows - it's even more fun to recommend and lend another by the same author when they're finished with the first one. You just can't do that with a screen! No, I'll keep my old-fashioned, corner-folded, beat-up books. After all, if you drop a screen-book in the water while reading it in the bathtub, that's the end of your screen-book...but paperbacks will always dry out.

1 comment:

FroggyWoman said...

Although I consider myself something of a technophile, I firmly agree with you on the subject of books.

They should ABSOLUTELY be printed on actual paper, with a spine (preferably a solid back, but paperback is a reasonable substitute), and be held in a bookshelf. Not on some electronic doohicky.

There is something so Zen, so inspiring, and so comforting, about holding a book, and entering the written world. And it is one task in life that should in no way be "simplified" or "streamlined", just because it can.

Farenheit 451 seems a little less far-fetched, these days.......