Happy New Year...Bring on 2013
One of the things that did my heart a world of good this past holiday season were the number of articles in favour of/praising the printed book. In an atmosphere of Kindles and other e-readers, it seems the printed page is still as strong as ever. Below is an article by Beth, one of the winners of the Guardians young critics award, exploring the question "Can a Kindle ever take the place of a book?"
I'm quoting from Beth here, as she puts very explicitly one of the reasons why I feel the answer to that question is a resounding NO!
"Books are like humans: each one is unique, they all have their own story to tell. They need a bookshelf just as we need a house. They can be ripped or torn just as we can break a bone. They can become famous like us. They are born and grow old like us.
A book is something that is read then laughed or cried about, then stored on a shelf until years later. Then it is taken out to be dusted and exclaimed about as it brings back memories of all the thousands of times you read it as a child. Perhaps it was under the covers with a torch praying your parents wouldn't see the light or out in the garden on a summer's day using the book to shield your eyes from the sun, flicking its pages beneath your nose to get that familiar "booky" smell.
Books can be made personal; bent, folded, marked by grubby hands. They can be doodled in and signed by their author at a book shop making a great day out."
I hope that you received the books you were hoping for this past Christmas season, or even better (sometimes) a book voucher or token for you to take into your local bookshop and spend time musing over all the titles on offer until you find the one that excites and inspires you; that takes you on unexpected journeys and introduces you to new friends, old acquaintances and gives you new challenges to overcome. The book that you will put on the shelf until years later, when you will dust it off, reread it, and the journey will be renewed for you, again and again!
Happy New Year!