Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Power of Book

Lucy reading a book on our Mac.

René Descartes secured himself a place on MapQuest with his, "Cogito ergo sum" ("I think therefore I am"). If I'm not mistaken, they've updated it to, "Ab asino lanam". Um, that might not be right--no, sure enough that's, "wool from an ass". Wait, wait, this is as close as I can get, "a caelo usque ad centrum", which means, "from the sky to the center of the earth".

What the heck am I talking about? This: "I have wireless, therefore I am". "Ahhh," you all say, "He's so right". Yes.

The Watson clan had a super-charged visit from The Talking Potatoes and their folks, the lovely and multi-talented, Martha Brockenbrough and the remarkably cool Adam Berliant. Well, Adam is more of a hot, slow cooked brisket (check out his blog if you like to play with cleavers, skewers and fire: Blue State BBQ).

Many of you are oh-so-already-up-to-speed with all things digital. I have a long way to go. But my question for you is this: What are your thoughts on digitized books? They are a growing phenomenon. Accessible. Diverse. The world is your digital oyster. But what about our quiet friends,who wait patiently on shelves? You know, books. Old school brain food? Come on, you remember...made out of paper? From trees? Or papyrus? What are we, relics of Middle Earth? Will they survive this current hyper jump to light speed?

Witness Jaime Temarik. It was her book that we were all reading with laser-locked attention. It has not been published yet, but look out world! Think, Shakespeare meets Amy Tan meets Erik Carle. It is a good read about the adventures of Alice and Lucy. Stay tuned.

While the adults jawed on and on, the kids went to the dining room and drew the future onto paper airplanes. And yes, we do allow alligators to crawl on our furniture.

Anyhow, we were all inspired and fired up by Jaime's book-in-progress. The power of Book is that it connects us one to another, and to our world. Does it matter how the pages present themselves? From the sky to the center of the earth.


kristiana said...

Beautiful ... well said!

steven said...

sweet post richard! i haven;t read a digital book yet - pdfs yes - but what i really want is a book that i can interact with. illustrations that are dynamic, text that i can play with. some musicians are posting samples from their music and allowing their listeners to rebuild pieces of music. imagine a text that dynamic! steven

A mermaid in the attic said...

I must admit to an old fashioned love of books, their feel, their smell, and especially the history they carry. I adore margin notes, and am a terrible scribbler myself. I love finding old books in 2nd hand shops that have bits underlined, or little notes around the edges. I love the fact that they fall open to particular pages. And I don't really like reading things on the computer, if I have to read a big chunk of stuff, I usually print it out. So I'm not sure digital books would hold the same magic for me!

Julia Kelly said...

I hope paper books never go away- for an escape from all things digitial- love the smell of a bookstore- love the feel of a book, on my lap, snuggled next to my babies- can't imagine snuggling up like that with a compute screen- e books do have their place- but not to replace paper books.
(what a wonderful wonderful family you have!!)

Martha Brockenbrough said...

I love this post! For so many reasons, not the least of which it was a reminder of a perfect mid-day adventure.

I think the hunger for people to spend time together, talking, creating, and laughing is the thing that will endure. Printed books are a part of that. Digital books will be, at least in parts of the world where access to technology is easy.

Whether we as a society keep enjoying them together is a choice we'll will only be made for us if we let it.

Here's to books! (And to the Watsons. And to pear galette.)

Richard Jesse Watson said...

Thank you Kristiana. Can't wait to read your latest--what is your latest?

Wow Steven! What an intriguing idea. Not just a choose-your-own-adventure, but a let's-build-the-adventure-together. Regarding music that builds on itself: have you heard Playing For Change?

I know what you mean, Mermaid. I am willing to read anything, but I will always love the fusty old books. The pages, the smell of books, the cosiness of them.

Me too Julia. And thanks. Ditto, your familia.

Sure glad you popped in with the "fam", Martha. Great fun. Books are like watering your own brain. Then once they take root and bear fruit, you can share the goodies with friends.

Zuzana said...

I notice myself that I become less interested in technology as as I grow older. Ah yes, I love my wireless connection, which allows me to read my favorite blogs while I sit in my garden, enjoying the sun and gazing at the blue sky. Blogs are online dairies and they were born that way. But books on a computer? Not for me; there is nothing like holding the real thing in ones hand. I guess I am getting old.;)
Love all the images and love your post as always.

Richard Jesse Watson said...

Thanks,Zuzana. I have to agree--sitting in your garden, enjoying the sun, nestled with a good, real, book--sounds peaceful.

Cuppa Jolie said...

What a great post with great pictures, Richard! I'm right with you, can't wait for the world to see Jaime's great book! :)

Richard Jesse Watson said...

Hi Jolie! Yeah we will have to have fireworks and champagne (or whatever) when her book makes its debut. Yours too!