Printed books, magazines and newspapers seem to be a thing of the past. I don’t, nor do I ever intend to, own a Nook or a Kindle. I actually like holding a book in my hand, physically turning the pages and highlighting text with a marker, if I so choose.
Ever since I was little, I have loved going to the library. I wonder with everything that’s online and electronic versions of this book or that magazine, will libraries eventually become obsolete? It makes me wonder about the survival of the printed word.
I grew up in an era before the Internet, e-mail and text messaging. I remember how I used to look forward to the mailman coming and how excited I was when there was a letter or card from a friend inside the mailbox. That’s a feeling that many younger people will never experience.
E-mails and text messages are fine, but they’re not as personal as a hand-written letter. I’ve kept a few hand-written letters and many of the cards sent to me by family and friends. They are physical reminders of my relationships with those people and I will treasure them for the rest of my life. It warms my heart to read hand-written messages from loved ones. It makes me feel close to the ones who are so far away and sense the presence of those who have passed on.
Hand-written cards and letters remind me of a simpler time when people took the time to get to know their neighbors, spent more time with family and friends and weren’t in so much of a hurry. Penmanship was a part of a student’s required learning. Now they don’t even teach cursive in the school’s anymore!
I may be old school when it comes to the printed word, but I think something precious is being lost and once it’s gone, I’m afraid it won’t come back. I realize change is inevitable. We must change and adapt if we are to survive. However, just like historical buildings, old movies and recordings, and products from bygone eras, we must preserve the printed word. It’s part of what makes us who we are.