3.04.2010

How Do You Feel About the Printed Word?

I have a new widget -- I Pledge to Read the Printed Word -- on this blog (see left) that I found while reading one of the (too many) blogs I follow on my feed reader.

I embrace technology, particularly the extraordinary access to data and knowledge that it provides through the Web -- no, I'm not forgetting the also extraordinary levels of useless detritus, but for me, the pros far outweigh the cons. I also appreciate the value of a Kindle when traveling -- I wish I'd had one when I seemed to live on a plane during a past work life.

So I'm certainly no Luddite. Nevertheless, the printed page is to me one of the true wonders of the world, and I'll be forever in debt to Herr Gutenberg. Curling up with the Sunday Times or the book I'm currently reading (you MUST read this) is one of my great pleasures. Curling up with a Kindle? Not so much.

When I came across this wonderful "manifesto" from Mrs. Fischer's English Classes, I had to share it:
I, hereby, pledge to read the printed word. I pledge to hold books in my hand, to visit public libraries, to flip tangible pages, to read for pleasure and imagination, to pause from my reading to tilt my head heavenward to consider what information I have just absorbed.
I couldn't have said it better.

What do you think of "Mrs. Fischer's" pledge? Any thoughts on electronic readers such as the Kindle?

Image Credit: takomabibelot on Flickr
The Reading Girl (La Leggitrice), model 1856, carved 1861
by Pietro Magni (sculptor), Italian, 1817-1877
Collection of the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

11 comments:

Maria-Thérèse afiori.com said...

I believe - and I hope - that books will continue to exist. It's a completely different thing to read something on a page or on the screen. I love being online but I find it uncomfortable to read long texts - and what scares me is that "long text" are probably equal to less than half a written page! This may also be the reason why people don't respond as much to longer blog posts - not simply because people are in a hurry but because texts are more difficult and straining to read on the screen. Hope this makes sense because I'm quite ill atm.

BookGirl said...

Marie-Therese, sorry that you're not feeling well. I too have difficulty reading longer texts online. I do think that that's a factor in shorter blog posts being more palatable. Another factor, I believe, is that our attention spans have been greatly diminished by the lightning pace of technology in our lives. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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Amelia said...

thanks for your lovely comment on my blog! :) - I was thinking a little tiny piece of art, or mini artists book . . .

I like the concept you've written about here. I love the written word, and writing words. I pledge to do more. So much time is consumed by the net . . . . .

A friend of mine has inspired me recently by starting up her blog. An amazing writer and she has just launched a competition. If you know anyone that may be interested do send them over this way:

http://thecreativeidentity.typepad.com/the-creative-identity/short-story-competition.html

You are included in the give-away. updates to come . . . .

Amelia.x

Melody said...

I adore the feel of a book in my hand, the scent of pages as they are turned. Thanks for the link to the pledge. I like that.

MadSilence said...

I received a Kindle as a gift & am still debating its merits. It's certainly convenient and empowering to be able to carry a library of thousands of books in your hand. Interesting how Amazon's electronic ink technology mimics the printed page. Required a bit of effort to acclimate to the Kindle. It lacks the visceral feel of a book, you can't orient yourself to the story by glancing at the cover, or gauge your reading progress by looking at the pages. Nor can you loan a book to a friend. Of course an interesting book on thye Kindle still makes a good read!

MizzJ said...

I would like to point out that technology like the Kindle may actually encourage people to read novels and allow for the disemmination (spelling hehe?) of these stories much faster and more easily than with traditional, print books. Thanks to technology authors can reach out to the whole world, instead of just the limited reach of traditional print publishing which is many times more expensive and much more complicated logistically.

That being said, I agree that reading on a screen is a hollow experience compared to curling in a chair and turning pages and I dearly hope that books will continue to exist, though I doubt that they will be as prevalent as they are now in the future.

bermudaonion said...

I applaud you and your support of the printed word. I'm wondering if you live in Asheville, NC? Do you ever go to author events there? I'm going to try to come to the Joshilyn Jackson event in June.

BookGirl said...

Bermudaonion, yes, I live in Asheville and love it. I moved here in part because it's a community that loves all forms of art, including books. Give me a heads up when you're heading here!

Make Do Style said...

nothing beats the pleasure of a book in ones hands xx

Struggler said...

I've never tried a Kindle so I'm not best-placed to say, but I do know libraries are fabulous places and that curling up in bed with a book is one of my favorite ways to spend an evening.