A world without books. Real books. Those made of paper embedded with ink. I remember some saying that eventually everything will be electronic. Printed books will be gone. Defunct.
What a horrifying thought.
However, I doubt that all the books could be replaced completely by virtual reality. Perhaps there may eventually be less of them, but I believe there will always be a place for the printed word. We need to revisit things somehow and how many times have we done that electronically? I’m sure I must have read at least a hundred sizeable novels worth of reading material online by now and not remembered much of it or been able to find any of it again if I did.
But a physical book on your bedside table, carried around in your bag or scurried away on your shelf for dust collecting, is always there. Ready to be dusted off and revisited when you are ready.
I always find it interesting to revisit things after some time has passed, especially books. I enjoy noticing the difference in how I feel about it each time. To observe how my perspective on the subject has changed without me having noticed it happening in the moment. I’m always surprised that there’s been a shift of some sort, no matter how miniscule. That I have actually grown and matured in some way even though I feel much the same.
Being with ourselves all the time makes it difficult to discern these shifts happening in the moment they happen. Trying to recall when or how the changes took place can be tricky. On rare occasions, when trying to remember, I will realise it was a particular thing I read or did and then notice how long it took for those thoughts or experiences to have an effect.
I noticed that recently when rereading a book that a friend gave me a while back. It expresses so simply and elegantly how to be yourself with other people and learn things about yourself through others.
It’s called “I am” by Michael Grinder.
The first time I read it I remember resonating particularly with these thoughts:
But this time around I’m having a heart-to-heart with these:
I see Michael Grinder is still going although I don’t see any mention of this little book, first published in 1973, on his site, which further illustrates the value of having a printed version of a timeless piece of wisdom. It’s still able to do its work 45 years on by occupying a physical space. It’s available to be picked up and held close to the heart.
There’s a few on Amazon if you’d like to do the holding-it-close-to-your-heart thing with this book. I have it in mind to buy them all and gift them to friends.
Do you have a book that still does this for you?
I’d love to know, so leave a comment below.