I stumbled upon It’s a Book some time back while wandering around Barnes and Noble. I was a bit confused at first, because it was in the Humor section, even though its illustrations made it seem more like a children’s book.
Turns out It’s a Book…well, is a book for any reader. I couldn’t purchase the book at the time, but this past weekend I stumbled on the book trailer for it. Behold, in all its glory:
This trailer gives you a good idea of the book, but you need to check it out in person in order to see the “punch line.” It’s totally worth it.
Technology and the Internet have given us the ability to do all kinds of amazing things; we can interact and create communities that are irrespective of country, language, and belief boundaries.
With the explosion of Internet-capable mobile devices, you don’t even have to be sitting at computer to connect. Get Tweets on your phone, or just access the mobile site. Trying to name that tune? There’s an app for that.
Based on all this, it’s no wonder the donkey in It’s a Book doesn’t understand something that doesn’t multi-task, and doesn’t automatically plug you into the Matrix– I mean, the World Wide Web.
Our greatest asset
I understand the value and coolness of connecting to communities larger than myself. But I also wonder at the effects of tweeting and blasting music and our obsessive need to have the coolest piece of technology.
I don’t want us to forget that the human mind is the best technology we’ll ever have, and that the imagination is the center of everything; someone had to imagine social media and ebooks before they could exist.
Maybe that’s why I cling so fiercely to the printed word. I need to feel the book in my hands, smell the ink, and feel the crinkle and rumple as I turn the pages. Maybe I’m afraid that once I get technology between myself and my reading, my imagination will be somehow stunted.
Sometimes my imagination is the only thing that can save me from what is a very uncertain point in my life.
So yea: it’s a book. It doesn’t scroll, Tweet, or play music, and it never needs to be recharged.
In fact, a book recharges me…and my imagination.
Am I totally off the mark here? Do you think technology and the printed word can coexist peacefully?