In This New Techy World, Is Nostalgia Up For Keeps?

Reading

Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book. Yes, every time you open up a book, the world gets better.

As per the words of the great George R.R Martin, a reader lives a thousand lives before it dies. And so does the tree. However, isn’t the sacrifice so worth it? As the saying goes, the soul of a dead tree always smiles when someone opens a book.

The regular trips to the local bookstore, the feel of the paper when you open up the book, the distinguished and orgasmic fragrance of a new book, all these things makes the possession of a book magical. Can all this nostalgia be beaten up by the electronic device that somehow substantiate the art of reading?

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I have been an avid reader since a really long time, I remember lovingly gazing down at my first Harry Potter book when it was gifted to me. Now, ravishing it later, I am not just filled with nostalgia of taking the magical journey of Hogwarts, but also of my childhood. Hard books are the physical reminders of my intellectual and moral journeys I have taken all my life.

E-books feel nothing like the printed ones. Firstly, it is not a physical entity you can behold to yourself for all your existence, because technology comes with a deadline. One just cannot replace the feel of touching the paper and twirling it which makes the sound of every passing beautiful moment more special, than just swiping it right on the electronic device.

Books on the electronic device can never be your legacy, though it might seem convenient and economical to possess those, but let me ask, since when can we measure imagination with economy? Books provide stories that are boundless and are eternal in nature, how can we possess them in a device which comes with a warranty? A device that has a brain of its own? A device that is dependent on electricity for its maintenance?

There might be times when the pages of the book may fall out and covers may get ripped, but books will never die on you. There is nothing more frustrating than getting to a juicy part of a story and having your e-reader’s battery die. As per the reliability is concerned, books will never fail you.

Keeping aside the materialistic approach of why printed books are better than e-books, there is an aesthetic beauty in the world of print. There is no greater joy than the joy of bookshelves getting filled up, nothing is better than walking out of a bookstore with a huge bag full of books promising to dwell you in a world that you may never want to get out. Nothing beats writing your name on the first page of the book and making it your possession, while attuning it your legacy forever.

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With the changing and the upcoming techy times, one might imagine the world of printing to faze out. But, imagine, a century down the line, what would be more special, a yellow book with the rustic smell belonging to some XYZ or an e-book that might not just feel exclusive at all?

Just imagine. Because imagination is something that comes easy to us bibliophiles who would swear by the world of print, because I do.

Yugansha Malhotra

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