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Twitter Blogathon Day 5 – What’s a book?

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!


About LilMissKaty

Just a normal girl who likes to try new things, go on adventures, spend time with fun people and tell stories...which is how this blog came about really!

8 responses »

  1. I 100% agree with you. At the age of 80 I will be the one person in the world far too stubborn to move on to “new technology” (spose Kindle’s’ll be old tech by then) and still be using bookshelves instead of wallpaper.

    You hit the sentiment of a book spot on the head with the smells, the creases, a library and pre-bedtime reading. I could never settle down in bed with a Kindle.

    • I did feel a bit like a potential grumpy old woman writing this post, refusing to move with the times or whatever but I just don’t care. There’s something about the experience of reading which is lost if you’re not holding an actual book. Closing down libraries and the loss of this experience really upsets me, not least because for some a library is an escape in more ways than one. Kids that have nowhere else to do their homework, or whos parents can’t afford to buy them books should be able to have this tranquil space to run to, the same as I did (not that I fell into either of those categories). Have gone totally off topic from inventions, lol, passion does that to you I suppose.

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  3. YES! Perfect. I love this blog post. I love everything about it because you hit the nail on the head about inventions and how extinct things will become. Books are the one thing that will probably one day disintegrate (quite literally) into a world where electronic items are more important and this makes me just as sad. I dread the thought of “what’s a book?”.

    And weird that you mention the dial-up noise as yesterday I was doing a test on computers and the like, a couple of questions were about dial up and it specifically mentioned the noise. I sat there thinking “this test is a bit dated, isn’t it?” because dial up is ‘so long ago’ when in actual fact, it was still around less than a decade ago.

    I honestly believe that you should get a free digital copy of a book whenever you buy one because then you have the option to read the book and the digital copy. So if you’re sat on a train or don’t want to have to carry a book around with you, you can carry on reading, but if you so wish to hold the tattered corners of your latest read, you should be able to. That’s what’s missing from this ebook world.

    • Phew I’m glad you like it, felt like I went a bit off topic really!

      I totally agree with you about the digital thing, even if it was ‘get this digitally for £2 when you buy the hard copy” you know? Would be much better! I was rereading a book a few weeks ago and forgot to take it to work one day, lo but behold I had it on my phone anyway, was marvellous! That’s how it should work every time 🙂

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  6. Electronic board games? No way, I’m not approving those. Unless it’s that kind of with an operation or something.
    Oh, and since you’re talking about electronics – what about floppy disc? I would love to still use one of those, but you cannot really put anything in there except for a few photos.
    Actually, my roommate couple days ago found a typewriter in a flee market. It cost around… *does the calculations* 5 pounds. Though she doesn’t know whether it was a working one.
    Erm, and I still do write letters by hand, once in a while. It actually reminds me – this week I watched Sex and the City [movie], and there they read love letters form Beethoven, Byron and such. The girl says “no one writes these anymore”. And that for me felt a little bit sad. Now there’s only love texts.
    Oh, and at home in Kaunas [my hometown in Lithuania] for a very long time I used to have this old phone where you have to dial the number. I mean, not exactly even dial, you have to turn the disc. Yes, that one. We changed couple months ago but only because it stopped working.

    As for books, I do have an e-reader – I got it as my latest birthday present. It is a cool and very convenient thing and for those people who love reading AND travel a lot it’s a savior – no heavy luggage and it’s all there in one place. Plus, you can share quotes instantly, lend/borrow books too and other things. And… well, a real book will always be a different thing to me, and yes, I still do prefer paper books to e-books. On the other hand, there are some books that I would’t be able to find here in Lithuania or Latvia in real format [and I’m not fond of online shopping at all], so I’d choose an e-reader way way more to reading on computer.


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