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The Bookish Type

50 Shades of Grey. American Sniper. Harry Potter. The Lord Of The Rings. The Hobbit. All of these films started out years ago as a now diminishing item which is receding from the homes and killing off libraries around the country. They all began their lives as black and white print works, crisp and not at all thumbed. Made from the finest gum made from trees in the Amazon rainforest. They started their lives as books, and it truly is a shame to see that the market for stores, for example Waterstones, is being driven away by both the online presence and the dawn of audiobooks and eBooks.

I know it might seem like shooting myself in the foot. And yes, I do appreciate the irony that I am typing this now and now writing with a feathered quill, dipping it into ink and sending thousands of copies of this post on an armada of carrier pigeons across the country. But in general terms, printed words are dying. Newspapers are dying, books are dying, even those crappy pamphlets that you get through the door from the local conman asking to take away "your junk to the scrapyard" is dying. I admit myself that I am guilty of this. I like nothing more in the morning than to buy my coffee in the local Starbucks, and I used to buy a paper to go with it. Now, Starbucks has stopped selling the papers in the morning, and I can just get the latest news on my phone. But, the fact that I could sit inside the place on a cold morning and flick through the pages, taking in every word of information whilst sipping a cappuccino is now defunct. The simple fact is is that as much as we rely on, adore, behest and detest technology, we are more and more dependent on it than we ever were. We are used to flicking the pages at the swipe of a finger on our iPhones and Samsungs. We are getting more and more used to having a reliance on the latest news here and now that we forget that the books and papers even exist. 

At the last count I have approximately 104 books in my bookshelf, 7 lying around my room in various instances where I am probably going to review them as they are fairly new, one I will never get back, and 6 I have lent out to various people (again, probably never going to get back). Oh, and one that was so poor that it is now being used to prop up the kitchen table (well, part of it anyway). I have to say, I just love books. I love the feel of them, I love the smell of them, I love how the spines go when you've read them so many times, I love everything about them. Undeniably, my favourite shop is Waterstones. I have over £30 on my card for Waterstones. Should they go out of business I would probably shoot myself. But thats beside the point, the point I'm trying to make is that books are some how being phased away. They days of the mobile library turning up at primary school and collecting book tokens are being numbered. It is truly a shame when you see kids now, sitting in the library reading a Nook or a Kindle. You are sat in a building with thousands of books, and you look at a plastic and glass screen instead. It kind of makes you wonder what's next in store.

On the subject of audiobooks, I am not against them completely. Quite often when I can't see anything in my bookshelf to read, I will pay £27 for the new Stephen Fry book, or pay £16 for the new Dean Koontz book that's being read by Kevin Bacon. Quite frankly, they are a good idea for people who don't know how to read, but for other practical uses, they are worthless and pointless. I understand you can't read in the gym, but surely you're focusing more on your fitness than you are seeing if Frodo makes it to Mordor with Sam, only to have the eagles take them home. I'm sorry, that still rankles a little bit.

Why don't we just pick up a book or a paper? Why can't we just start reading the way that we used to? It's not a difficult thing to do, and maybe we may just learn some old values along the way.
The Bookish Type The Bookish Type Reviewed by Matt Large on Friday, February 27, 2015 Rating: 5

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