In this era of such high technological advances and developments, there's still an unexplainable pleasure in stroking the spine of a hardbound classic novel than holding a device with some mere characters blinking.
And now the question arises, are we going to pile up books in a stack for the summer or will opt for the tech read?
There's no denying the fact that technology has evolved and changes are evident in major spheres of life. Life is moving at fast-pace and so is our urge to conquer the next "best thing". It's normal one will want to keep up with that pace and mostly when the new alluring things are at its best and inviting. Though, I think in the realm of literature there's still a lot can be said on how much a good solid book can pleasure us.
My teenage memories are full of reading, not an avid child reader but surely one as an adult. Of the smell and feel of the characters in a real book. Holds of Matilda, Alice in Wonderland, Malgudi Days. Shelf tucked with wrinkled and yellowed pages of my favorite horror stories alongside Ray's Feluda. Huddled in the corners of my grandpa's book shelf, I'd often loose myself in the likes of Byomkesh-Tagore & Plath-Austen.
Regardless of their printed contents, books tell their own alternative stories, whether this be from smudges on the pages, or edges crinkled from a spilt drink; corners curled or margins dotted with sneaky annotations.
It's a myth that e-books make reading a more sociable experience, too. For all the casual chatting back and forth over plots and characters you can do on Facebook, there is nothing like the intimate interaction of a good book swap. Social media might mean you can talk to somebody in Russia or Slovakia about your favourite author, but it often limits connections with those around you, as you busily type away into a phone.
 It's no substitution for transferring, by hand, your favourite book to a friend. Books can be gifted and borrowed. Who has ever heard of penning "To Judy, Happy Sweet 16th Birthday, With Love", onto a leather kindle case?
E-readers do extend the ease and possibility of storage where words are temporary and can vanish into a whole nothingness just with a mislay of details or power-cut. Though it omits the problem of having to lug around heavy hardbacks , there is a certain satisfaction found in the process of collection and display. Nothing beats a well-stocked book case!
Thus, bookshops and libraries are fascinating places. Wandering through the racks of different books with such hefty choices to choose from and stroking the spine of the books while the rusty smell filling in your lungs,  it's a whole different feeling. The process of careful browsing and selection is so much more personal when compared to pressing a button and "adding to basket".
To kids, hand hold books are very important. There's a all together new level of excitement seeing the colourful illustrated book covers, that is what draws in their attention and also reveals something more fundamental about them to the world.
Some of you may think I'm being such an old-school, and that although our digital landscape has seen tremendous changes but our basic needs and desires remain same. The incessant need to remain updates about every informations from the nook and corner of the world is helpful yet somewhat unsettling. Reading should be more of relaxation. A good old classic or that of a Garcia in the corner of your bedroom with dim lights and soft music. It's could be indulging and all absorbing.
So, I say drop your kindles, and smell the books.

Angira Sen


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