The world is constantly changing on us. Almost every day seems to bring new inventions which render the old ones defunct. Today for example, sees the launch of the new apple phone, tomorrow maybe a new camera or coffee maker. These days we have 3D televisions, hand held gaming consoles (remember Game Boys? What happened to them?) and satellite navigation. Christmas presents are almost all accompanied by batteries and plugs; even board games have become electronic (Monopoly without the money!! Seriously!!). Laptops replaced computers which replaced typewriters….Mp3 players took over from Discman which replaced cassette players before which there were record players and prior to that people probably just used to sing! In 2011 everything is wireless and compact for a generation which is constantly on the go and wants to travel light. Smart phones now allow people to have their sat nav, alarm clock, sound system, entertainment, social networks, diary, newspapers and library in one handy pocket sized gadget.
There are some inventions which have made it into the ‘retro’ category. Those used by the nostalgic and (often) rich. You’ll see it in films where some sophisticated ladies man will put Sinatra on his record player, or a young up and comer purchases a Jukebox for the corner of his new penthouse pad. There are those who write letters with a quill and ink, or on a typewriter (I love the sounds) for the pure pleasure of it (to be fair ‘writing’ letters at all is pretty retro these days, in the time of email, texting and social media, who gets post anymore without a little effort or planning?!). I have wondered how these select few inventions which get to stick around are chosen. Who decides what’s ‘cool’ enough to be retro? The cassette never made it…ask my 10 year old nephew!
Which brings me to my title question…In the age of Kindle and iPad (not to mention film adaptations left right and centre’) will the book too eventually become a thing of the past? Will they be things that my grandchildren come and look at on weekends and wonder how on earth we coped with having to carry around such heavy, awkward objects? How can it be possible that the people of the future may not appreciate the beauty of that first crease in the spine of a new novel or the musty smell that only comes from old pages? I adore reading and could quite happily spend an entire day wandering round a library selecting a good book, then tucking myself up on a cosy arm chair (or bean bag…not enough of those around these days either in my opinion!) and lose myself in a story of far off lands or someone else’s life. Books help me relax, they make me laugh and cry, and while you still get the story on a Kindle it’s just NOT.THE.SAME! There’s something about a book that sets the mood in a way that staring at a screen never will. I’m currently reading Notes on a Small Island on my iPhone. I’ve been reading for it a week so far and I’m almost certain that if I had it in hard copy I’d have finished it by now, rather than being on chapter 4! I read at the end of the day usually, just before switching off the light, a time when staring at your phone is not what you want to be doing (especially when it’s SO tempting to just quickly check twitter, haha!). I’m aware not everyone will agree with my opinions here, but I hope the majority do, and with all my heart and soul I hope there never EVER comes a day when a a child says ‘what’s a book?’
Todays blog theme was ‘Extinct Inventions’…make sure you pop over to read Miss Peg, Katy’s and @catnipfields thoughts if you get a chance! You can now follow the Twitter Blogathon Blog which will have links to all our entries – easy peasy!
P.S. One more thing, not really an invention, but do you remember the dial up noise? Think of all the hundreds of thousands who have come before and after us who’ll never know it. Always found that interesting!