So here’s the thing. I don’t know which side to be on—the tablets or the books.
I’m no good at technology. Sure, I can scan pictures, use a copier, and download things—but so can my 86-year old grandfather (he’s actually so tech-savvy!). I think most of my ineptitude stems from my fear of the newfangled things in general. I’m no Luddite, but technology being a part of every moment of my day kind of scares me. That includes these tablets, these Kindles and NOOKs and iPads. It scares me that I could have I could have endless information at my fingertips at any time, sheathed in cold, hard titanium and touch screens. What if everything becomes computerized? What if I forget how to write the letters of the alphabet by hand? What if children in the future never learn how them at all? Will I have to drag books from the depths of my attic to show grandchildren years from now, the same way my grandmother shows me the washing board she used until she bought a machine? I’d miss them dearly, those books. I love writing, jotting, ranting in pen alongside the printed letters from the author. I relish in the smell of the binding (I’m sure I’m not alone here), the crispness of novel pages, and the shiny, almost dewy thickness of children’s picture books.
At the same time, I can appreciate the prowess of the tablets. I have a love for aesthetics, for instance, and the sleekness of the tablets really appeals to me—I mean, those things are sexy. Not to mention how good it could be for the environment, at least in the basic terms of lowering paper use. Having a tablet would keep me from printing out hundreds of sheets of paper in readings per year. It would be more convenient, too, to carry around a thin, light device that contains a library—and a worldwide connection—than to even stuff three thick novels in my bag at the airport.
The options are appealing, and while at present I could choose to use both, I have a feeling that books won’t be an option forever. But maybe by then, I‘ll have my own reality television show as an antique book hoarder.
Tell me, readers, which team are you rooting (or already playing) for? Do any of you have tablets? Do you prefer them to books?