The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Monday, July 18, 2011

I am Nooked

I am getting addicted. Like most addictions, you don't realize it as it is happening. But, later, when you are deep in it, you suddenly realize your choice is limited: go through withdrawals or accommodate the addiction. if the addiction is something chemical, there are all kinds of programs available to help you break it. Not so for the electronic kind.

What is the electronic addiction? There are so many... TV, cellphones, computers, and now... eBook readers. The last is my addiction. I made a feeble attempt to resist [link] but it was inevitable. They suck you in, they sit there in stores tucked safely away behind locked glass (which only makes you want to pick one up) or tethered and un-powered so you cannot turn them on. Just the fact that they are secured against theft suggests their desirability and adds to their allure. Like a beautiful woman in a skimpy bikini at the beach when you are with your wife or girlfriend, the lust rises in your mind because you know it is out of your reach but is begging to be fondled.

You know it really isn't begging at all (and neither is that woman), it's just an inanimate object. Still, the sleek lines and the blank display area are intoxicating, aren't they? You see the potential, you want the device. At least for a moment; to touch, to feel, to heft, to see something (anything) in its display. Would it be the same as reading a physical book? Could it be better? Would it be uncomfortable?

For me, it is not the same. The pages don't really exist, you do not feel them on your fingertips, there is no chance of a paper cut. There is no binding to resist, no scent of old paper as you read a book that you've had for years. But the words are the same, the story hasn't changed because the book is now just pixels on a screen, the world portrayed in the story is no less or more than it was when you were younger and these devices didn't exist.

He and his wife, the old lady who had received me, looked at each other in a frightened sort of way. He mumbled out that the money had been sent in a letter, and that was all he knew. When I asked him if he knew Count Dracula, and could tell me anything of his castle, both he and his wife crossed themselves, and, saying that they knew nothing at all, simply refused to speak further. It was so near the time of starting that I had no time to ask anyone else, for it was all very mysterious and not by any means comforting.

[from Jonathon Harker's Journal; "Dracula" by Bram Stoker]

It does not matter in what form those words are displayed, they are still powerful and beautiful in how they are strung together. The emotion underlying them doesn't change because they have been captured in silicon.

And I have found a number of old science fiction stories and books I can download, some with illustrations, and mysteries (I am looking forward to most, if not all, the Sherlock Holmes stories available) at the Gutenberg Project.

I don't have to think about bookmarks, the device returns to the page you were reading of whatever book you are reading at the moment. And you can read (as I like to) 2 or more books at the same time. (Not simultaneously, of course, but switch around) Plus, if I come across a word whose definition is unfamiliar, I can jump to the web and look it up.

I have fallen in love with this thing.

Does this make me a "Nookie?"


Pearl said...

Yes.  Yes it does.  :-)


Pearl said...

Sheesh.  I don't think my comments come through half the time, do they???

Pearl said...

Oh, wait.  I guess they do.  :-) 

Carry on.

Douglas4517 said...

Well, better than being a Wookie, I guess.

Tom Sightings said...

I'm a kindleton myself -- and now libraries are starting to make books available on the nook and kindle, as well. 

Douglas4517 said...

Yes, our local library has a link to the Tampa library which provides those. But, so far, I have plenty to read through the Gutenberg Project...

InspectorClouseau said...

It's a good thing that I've never been to a beach with a girlfriend.  However, based on your description as to what happens, I should at least consider it.  Are you aware of any rent-a-girlfriend agencies at beaches here in the U.S?

Douglas4517 said...

No, but I would suppose they exist. In fact, I'm certain of it. Seems to me I have run across a few employees of just such an agency while trolling the beaches of Miami when I was much younger.