Friday, September 27, 2013

A Book with planes, trains and automobiles

There was once a time in a land and era far away when one could peek at the bookcase(s) and record and/or cd collections of the person they were dating. This has now changed with the world that is much more digital. Recently I have done some travel via plane, train(MN light-rail and D.C. Metro) and automobile. My research methods are not exhaustive or solid given the sample size but there is one reality that is hard to escape--we have our noses and fingers in our iphones, smartphones, tablets and whatever else they might be called.

Flying to Washington I picked a book out of my bag. The gentleman seated next to me said: "Huh, some people still do that?" I laughed. Then it made me sad. I don't make judgements in terms of what anyone reads. Read mystery. Read literary fiction. Read poems. Read. I really don't care. Yet, over and over on that trip, people were surprised by my presence with a book made from paper.

Reading, to me, is a vehicle to other lands and ways of thought. It enables someone to learn. It can be escapist or a jumping off point for discussion. It makes us belong to a tribe.

Two nights ago Edwidge Danticat quoted Toni Morrison. She said, "Who knew that he was writing for a black girl in Ohio?

I love to people-watch. I watch them read magazines and Gillian Flynn and eveything else that is sold in an airport-bookstore. The book is dying and it is rising like a phoenix.

Whenever someone looks at me with my paper book and seems astonished I try to smile and let them know that the book is a tool against tired thinking. It is a form of rebellion. I read to inform and enjoy the world in places unknown to me.

1 comment:

  1. A tablet is a great way to read the NY Times or New Yorker, as examples, when traveling and a horrible way to read a book. Despite what people like to say, it is difficult to page back to find something you want, or see if what you think about a character is true. The tablet might be an alternative for War and Peace just to avoid carrying that rock, but other than that, it's good 'ol books for me.