Words are important
Of making many books...
used in high school, “ Words Are Important.” I would study new words, then try and incorporate them into my speech, much to the consternation of family and friends, especially when the words were used incorrectly!
One sentence I learned early was, “Are you insinuating that I should tolerate such diabolical nonsense from an inferior such as you whose brains are insufficiently sophisticated to comprehend my existential philosophy?” That really impressed my friends, considering that none of us realized I was actually insulting them!
Textbooks were followed by the Bible (only the King James Version, of course), Sunday school papers and similar “ holy reading,” as my pastor-father dubbed it.
There was a series of juvenilia, the Danny Orlis books. (While writing this article, I did an Internet search for this chap. To my surprise, Danny Orlis the porn star came up! He is definitely not the Danny Orlis my brother and I read!) These tame books, dripping with spiritual morals, were almost required reading for Pentecostal Preachers’ Kids! To this day, I recall two titles, “Danny Orlis and the Angle Inlet Mystery” and “Danny Orlis and the Dry Gulch Mystery.” What suspense and intrigue!
At the same time, many of my grade school friends were reading the Hardy Boys mysteries by Franklin W. Dixon who, I just learned, again on the Internet, never even existed! However, Edward L. Stratemeyer (1862-1930), the series creator, did exist.
Of course, my reading has since taken me far beyond the Hardy Books. I now read almost any and everything between two covers!
A revolution in reading
You may wonder where I’m headed in this week’s column. Please bear with me.
Book reading has changed greatly since the simple days of “See Spot run!” There has been a virtual revolution in reading. Witness, for example, “E-reading.” According to the Oxford Dictionary of English, an Ebook is “an electronic version of a printed book which can be read on a personal computer or handheld device designed specifically for this purpose.”
I by no means consider myself to be technologically challenged. I make a living as a writer, editor and online instructor. I work with computers almost every waking moment and would be at a severe disadvantage without my PC.
I have heard all the arguments in favour of E-reading. E-books promise easy access, with no need for one to lug around heavy and unwieldy books. I can save both time and money by no longer having to make periodic out-of-town trips to Chapters. E-books conserve space. And, perhaps most significant, E-books are environmentally friendly. The arguments in favour of E-reading cannot be gainsaid.
At the same time, I remain partial to hard copy, print, handheld books. For me personally, there is nothing quite like holding a book in my left hand and a Tim’s coffee in my right hand, with my dog Madisyn nestling beside me as I read contentedly while waiting for the house to come awake in the mornings.
Having said this, I am the first to admit that I am what my children call “an old fogey.” I don’t even have a Facebook account, while apparently everybody else in the world does! Well, I did...for a day. But, after about 100 people asked to be my friend, I panicked and cancelled my account.
While I much prefer print books over E-books, I realize the day is undoubtedly coming when E-reading will be the order of the day. And, I expect that I will eventually embrace the latest technological advances in reading. To quote C.S. Lewis (1898-1963) in an entirely different context, at that time, hopefully I won’t be “ brought kicking, struggling, resentful, and darting [my] eyes in every direction for a chance of escape.” I would like to think that, when that time finally arrives, I will be pleased to wholeheartedly embrace it.
Now, I wonder which book in the pile on the floor I should pick up and read next...