Monday, September 24, 2007

are you still reading books?

Yesterday as I browsed in the bookstore for my usual inspiration fix, I admired the many other browsers taking seriously this approach to finding out about life on the bigger scale. So many readers enjoying the comfortable arm chairs as they took deep draughts from their prospective purchases. Others enjoying their favorite Starbucks as they settled in at the bistro tables with their reading piles. Still others just plumped on the floor with books in their laps and books at their backs.

Do you keep hearing the worrying rumors that books are about to be displaced by electronic wizardry? I wonder. A couple weeks ago, in the TV biography of Starbucks' visionary expander, critics voiced their worries that he would displace "real" coffee. Last night, in the TV documentary on "Hippies," critics decried their radical cultural effect on authority that still ravishes our society. Somehow, despite dire predictions, hippie Steve Jobs grew up to be the establishment figure he aimed to be, while the personal computer now allows us to shop online for books and just about everything but Starbucks. We seem to exert the creative energy to preserve what we need, what we cherish, what brings meaning or enjoyment to our lives. Sometimes we need to be prodded, but a lot of us are still reading books.

One of my visual-treat purchases yesterday is Country Living's "Merry & Bright: 301 Festive Ideas for Celebrating Christmas." It's a compendium of visual prompts for those who enjoy decorating their homes in honor of the spirit and tradition of this holy day. Craft instructions and baking recipes complete the book. Yes, I know that it's a little early to be thinking about Christmas decorating. But it's occupying my mind because my daughter-in-law, who is currently staying with us since returning from Afghanistan, will be joining her husband (our middle son) on assignment in Iraq several weeks before Christmas. Happily, this Thursday she'll be meeting him in Finland to share his two-weeks' leave from Baghdad. So this year I've decided that a few early decorations, like putting up the glistening snow tree in the foyer and arranging our Finnish Tonttu and Joulupukki collections, will provide an extra cache of visual postcards and emotional talismans for her to carry with her while serving away from home. And yes, they are both powerhouse readers.

4 comments:

carol said...

I love this book...I've been devouring it a bit at a time each night before I go to bed. It's putting me in the mood to decorate for Christmas...that, and the fact that we were in the 80's today. Yay!

Junie Moon said...

I just received this book in my mail last week and am enjoying it immensely. Although I appreciate and use electronics, books are something that I have to have in my hand. There's something mysterious and promising about holding a bound set of papers. Even that dry paper smell is an important part of it all.

Tammy said...

IThat looks like such a great idea book!

Please tell your D-I-L, welcome home and thank you for serving our country! (from one military family to another)

It was so great seeing you last week!

Natalea said...

I don't think it's too early for Christmas! I've been out buying decorations already! I was looking for that book at Borders the other day but didn't find it. Looks good though. Best to you and your family!!
xo natalea