Off the top of my head on this Thursday…
My inner debate about eReading continues, especially after reading my friend Beth Kephart’s post. She quotes an article by Tim Parks, in which he asserts that “The e-book, by eliminating all variations in the appearance and weight of the material object we hold in our hand and by discouraging anything but our focus on where we are in the sequence of words (the page once read disappears, the page to come has yet to appear) would seem to bring us closer than the paper book to the essence of the literary experience.”
In her inimitable way, Beth describes the ways in which Mr. Parks assertion does not jibe with her experience of eReading, descriptions that have me nodding my head in complete agreement. Like Beth, without the physical presence of the book in my hand, I am more distracted than not. In fact, when I’m reading a digital book, I often feel such a sense of disassociation with the writer and her message that I’m likely to put the book aside and go look for something else more satisfying to read (or do). I have some deep inner need to flip through the pages at random, to jot notes on the endpapers, to mark with tiny dog-eared corners those pages to which I must return.
All that being said, I have found a modicum of success reading on my (somewhat antiquated) Sony reader, which I use when I’m traveling. Because it almost looks like a book in its pretty red leather cover and I can hold it just as I would a real book, my mind is lulled into some semblance of acceptance.
Yesterday, I stumbled across Dani Shapiro’s lovely blog, called Moments of Being. Browsing through some of her recent posts, I stumbled across one called “On the Private Heart,” in which she shares her thoughts about the writer’s “secretive contemplative self, the place where insights occur.” This is the Private Heart that is so rarely shared with the outside world, the Private Heart which can be accessed only in the “silence where the voice emerges. It is only in the movement of the hand across page, one word following the next, in the crafting of sentences that we know ourselves.” I loved this image, and I know it to be a true one, even in my own limited experience of writing, know how occasionally when everything is working just right you find yourself writing a sentence that makes you stop breathing for a second, makes you suddenly realize something you’d never known you could articulate, something that has been hidden in the deepest part of you for longer than you ever imagined.
This morning, a cold and rainy day, I took my coffee and crawled back in bed with Louise Penney’s latest, A Trick of the Light. I do love the way this lady creates atmopshere in her mystery novels, love the little village of Three Pines where she places her wonderfully complex cast of characters. I want to crawl inside these books the way I burrowed under my blankets this morning.
Even though there is always murder involved, with Inspector Gamache on duty, I feel as if I would be safe.
Speaking of safe, we had a bit of a scare the other night when we got home from traveling. My husband thought he had left his credit card behind at the airport in Dallas. I was frantic for a few moments – so many things are tied to that credit card, and I despise having to change everything when you get a new account number. Luckily, he found it in his jacket pocket, so that disaster was averted. But I was reminded how important it is to keep those things safe. Identity theft happens so often, and once your identity has been stolen, it can take years to rectify the damage. I’ve been doing a bit of research on identity theft protection and discovered a service provider called IdentityHawk that has a good product to help keep your identity safe. Sort of like having my own personal Inspector Gamache guarding my financial identity.
I like that idea.
Now tell me, what are you thinking about this Thursday morning?