Used to be that I always had a pen and piece of paper handy (I tried the whole notebook thing, but was never very good at carrying them around with me all the time). So whenever I suddenly got an idea for a story or heard the most perfect piece of dialogue, it would end up on bubble gum wrappers, receipts, or any other piece of paper I could find, and usually it seems, in blue ink.
Anyway the bad part of this was of course that sometimes I lost that perfect sentence or idea and I just couldn’t recreate it again. The cool part was, and maybe this is stupid, but…there was something neat about seeing the scribbled handwriting on those little scraps. Usually, the more excited I was about something, the more illegible it was, but still, it was cool.
I don’t do that so much anymore. I just email myself from my phone whenever something comes along that I think I might use in a story. It’s much more efficient. I never lose my ideas anymore. I know exactly to the minute when I wrote something, but…it’s not the same. Something is lost. The blue ink isn’t there. I kind of miss it.
I guess that’s why I’ve resisted getting a Kindle, though it certainly makes sense and is much more convenient than getting in my car, heading to the bookstore or library, and browsing through rows and rows of books. But the truth is, I like walking down the aisles. I like the smell of new books, the smell of old books, looking at the cover, feeling the weight of it in my hand. I guess that’s why I stock my house chock full of books (truly, I just realized I have three copies of Pride and Prejudice). I like to see them on the shelf, scattered on the floor, stacked until they’re tumbling on my nightstand. It reminds me of the stories, of the characters. They’re not all tucked away and hidden in some little cyber world or file. They’re right here. Elizabeth Bennett is in my living room (and on my bookshelf, and on my nightstand). Holden Caulfield, Ramona Quimby, and Harry Potter are perched on the top shelf of the bookcase in my office. Ethan Frome is underneath a pile of mail on my counter (as if the man hasn’t suffered enough!).
Anyway, anybody else a sucker for a physical, turn the pages, if-you-lose-it-it’s-really-gone-and-you-have-to-go-out-and-get-another-one kind of books? I get (and like) the whole technology thing, but…well, I suddenly have the urge to watch The Breakfast Club, eat Pop Rocks, and, dare I…
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