Saturday, December 29, 2012

Words and Paper

This morning, I came bucketing up the long gravel driveway of my in-law's house in Western Maryland.  The five inches of snow already on the ground had been augmented by an overnight snow, and the flakes were still falling heavily.

Between the new tires on the minivan and a healthy dose of objects-in-motion-tend-to-stay-in-motion, it was only just enough muss and fuss to make it entertaining.

I was on my way back from the morning jaunt that has defined almost every morning since I started coming out here decades ago: The newspaper run.

The paper has always been a necessary part of any lazy flannel-jammie morning.  That newspaper run used to be earlier, years ago.  Back in the 1990s, I had to get out by no later than seven, and even then, there was always the risk that every single newspaper would be gone.

Now?  There are always papers, no matter how late I sleep in.  That form of media is fading.  We've moved away from physical media for our news, and now are increasingly moving away from it for our reading.  Books have also been a major part of any time off, and this year, for the first time, I find myself sitting at the Western Maryland house and reading an eBook.

I've read books online before.  I've read an entire book in a game on my PS3.  I've even published to Kindle.  But I've not made a regular habit of reading books that weren't paper and ink.  With the arrival of the lowest-end no-ad Kindle in my life, that's going to become a much more regular event.   It's lowest-end by design.  I don't want a tablet computer.  I don't want apps, or videos, or games.  I want none of those distracting, pointless bits of popcorn-brain electronic frippery.

I just want to read, to lose myself in a world spun of words.

The first of the books I downloaded was the latest in Ian M. Banks Culture books, a series of thoroughly enjoyable hoo-hah hard-sci-fi space operas.  Others will follow...more hard sci-fi, and likely some Teilhard de Chardin.

It's a different tactile feeling, having that light sliver of plastic in my hand.   But the reading experience is exactly the same.  I'm still immersed in that world, engaged deeply with the reality woven into being by that language.

That's the important thing, eh?


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