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  • Writer's pictureNathan Brown

A Literary Reprieve

Well, the dark year that books (the ones made with paper pages and covers that bend and warp with a reader’s love) were scheduled to become obsolete, if not extinct, has come and gone.

The dream we had for saving the trees, by way of increasing the manufacture of lithium-ion batteries, is waning a bit. Even our brief excitement over the way those batteries occasionally explode is passing.

There are so many ways to destroy the world. And when it comes to literature, I’m guilty on both counts. I have a library, and a Kindle.

But I’ve seen a minor phenomenon unfold in my personal, and clinical, reading disorder. (And I mean here my love for reading, to the point of being diseased about it, and not my actual eye/reading disorder, which is another story altogether.)

I own a smartphone, a laptop, and soon will receive a tablet as a gift. I use them all more than I should. (I’m a workaholic, as well as a diseased reader.) And so, I’m one to usually, eventually, give technology a chance. Honestly, the only way I’ve been able to publish and sell books was to achieve some amount of command over software and the Internet.

But, when the time comes to wrap my day up in the warm blanket of a good novel or collection of poems, the bottom line is… I am not going to curl up next to a small fire, that I’ve built with real wood, and sip on a glass of Malbec, that was made with real grapes… and read that novel, or those poems, on a virtual book. There is just no romance in it whatsoever.

Not everyone is like this. I’m well aware. But enough people do appear to be, after all, for the harbingers of physical doom to have had to back down and find some other death to predict.

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