There is a debate amongst avid readers, which is pretty heavy at times, over the future of books and other forms of printed materials. Lovers of books are having a difficult time seeing actual print turning to technology more and more.
As a child I read books like they would slip out of my hands if I didn’t hold fast to each one. I remember the old Morrison Reeves Library and how I could hardly wait to go from the picture book section to early reader, where my sister had been for a couple of years. I remember my first library card–paper with the little metal piece at the bottom. And the joy of finally getting to climb the winding staircase up to the “glass floor” above to search for books.
Books were magic to many of us. Unfortunately that joy has been taken away from the generations of today with new technologies,enabling them to get their information from sources other than books.
There are blog sites devoted to this debate and we book readers are adamant that the written and printed word bound into a book should not die. I would say some of us fear this inevitability. But there is another side to this debate that is important. Kathy Camper, who assists people with disabilities at the Independent Living Center in Richmond IN, wrote this in a blog site recently:
“I also grew up loving both the smell of books and the mysteries that they hold. I spent hours reading about the nursing adventures of Sue Barton Student Nurse upstairs at my grandfathers house. Oh, the places I have traveled throughout the years in books. But technology does have its place. Imagine no longer being able to read due to vision loss. That once full world now dim and empty. Sitting hours alone with nothing to fill that void. I have seen things like the talking book program and Kindle open up a world that has been closed to many for too long. Watching someone cry when they discover that they can again travel to that place where only a good book can take you. So,even though nothing will ever take the place of the thrill of holding a book, smelling its aroma and sitting for hours reading, the electronic version can also have its place.”
At the Independent Living Center, where I also work, many consumers have low vision and the center offers several types of technology to assist them with remaining independent. The new Kindle is one of those technical advances. If you haven’t encountered one yet..they upload books from the internet and can read aloud to you– bringing back the world of books to people, as Kathy said above, who were no longer able to read. (The Kindle and other types of reading devices are for the sighted as well).
So though the debate will continue and book readers will fight to keep print alive, it seems we must also embrace the new technology for those who would not be able to enjoy books otherwise.
To learn more about what the Independent Living Center offers you can visit them at 1818 West Main Street, or visit their website. And no matter how you do it keep reading!
Karole Passmore is a freelance writer who enjoys writing articles and short stories, interviewing local people, and researching non-fiction subject matter– preferably historical. Graduate of RHS, Ivy Tech Richmond, and Earlham College– with a major in History, Karole has spent most of her life in Wayne County and enjoys the quaint atmosphere of a small town.
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