Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Joy Of Reading Is Changing

It probably started with the ancients drawing a line in the sand to warn against crossing some unwritten admonishment. It then advanced to petroglyphs telling of how lives were lived, legends, histories. Then came variations on paper and pen. Books. Newspapers. Now the Kindle and most recently the iPad.

Actually, a version of the iPad has been around in the imaginations of science fiction writers for some time. just watch old episodes of Deep Space Nine and others of it's ilk. From what do they read? A version of a hand held computer.

This morphing into the age of technology isn't comfortable for this old creature of habit. Just in the past few years, as newspapers have taken their hits, my reading habits have changed and not for the better. It's becoming another thing on my 'to do' list rather than a few moments of wonderful down time.

Not so long ago we had a full pot of coffee every morning, settled into our respective arm chairs, propped our feet up on our foot stools to provide ample lap space for papers and dug in. No more. Full pots are now reserved for week ends. Judging from this morning it won't be long until it becomes Sunday only. Monday is barely worth dirtying the pot unless we decide to read page after page of AP wire stories and the legal notices. What a sorry state for the once noble pursuit of keeping informed!

The hype tells us the iPad is the future of how we're going to get our news. Well, the computer, because that's what it is. Paying for content is controversial at the moment but no matter where we go to read, we have to pay. Whether it's a purchased book, newspaper or magazine subscription, or the electric bill for running your computer. My objection is having to pay for content on line for a paper to which I also subscribe, especially if the on line content is free but you have to pay to access it's archives. I'm sure there will be legislation dealing with this on down the line. There is legislation pending on nearly everything these days and little to our advantage. Especially in Obamaworld where the government wants to stick it's financial finger into everything.

There is a downside to all of this. I foresee a downward spiral of those who actually enjoy reading, not to mention those who write. Books. Curling up with your Kindle or iPad just isn't like curling up with a good book. Period. So, there go book sales and publishing houses and paper manufacturers and printers, etc. You get the idea. Consider the decrease in coffee sales for those newspaper readers. Okay. The price of coffee is out of sight anyway, but a paper without coffee? Nah.

Maybe even wine sales? How many sip a glass of wine while they savor the story of the latest best seller?

Ah, times, they are a changing! Pretty soon the only thing tangible left to read will be 5000 page bills coming out of Congress. The irony is it's because they aren't savvy enough to get said bills online in a timely manner. Personally I think that's more by design than lack of technical skill, but if it is the latter, what does it say about them?

Will I invest in an iPad or some similar device? Maybe. But not for awhile yet. I still enjoy that morning pot of coffee even if I do no more than stare out the window at the approaching morning.

Some things cannot be taken away by technology. Mornings are one of them. For that I am grateful.


Betty said...

I'm with you. I love my coffee and newspaper in the mornings. I won't give them up easily or gracefully. And, the house would seem awfully empty without full bookcases.

Word Tosser said...

I agree... and besides it is easier to take the paper with you, when you travel and read it.. .and balancing a computer on your lap in the bathroom, is not good either.. lol....
Who wants to take a $500 computer to the beach and read it without getting sand in it? No the 50 cent paper is better or a $3.00 paper back.. No, the paper works are still the best to me. Not many steal a book or paper, computers? yes.
And coffee without paper.. oh, no, that is just wrong!!

Margie's Musings said...

I agree. Our paper is an evening paper through. I sit here at the bar and read the news online with my cup of coffee. I get my local news in the evening after dinner with the newspaper.