Posts Tagged ‘books’

I realized this morning that perhaps that wasn’t the most intelligent photo to put up on a blog last night. On the other hand, maybe not. There are people who use firearms responsibly and people who do not. From what I’ve read about the family home of the young boy who wiped out 16 lives the other day, his father wasn’t exactly keeping his weapons collection under lock and key. Which is where that type of thing belongs. You should not be allowed to own them unless you are prepared to do this. And only someone who is responsible enough to keep the key on their person at all times or locked in a safe to which only the person licensed to own and operate these things knows the combination. Heaven help us, why aren’t these few simple principles crystal clear?! The other, more dire message to parents everywhere is: know your children! Be there for your children, talk to them, become involved with who they are. Of course, it’s perhaps unfair speculation to say that these parents didn’t. Young boys will be young boys. But hating girls? Having previously pestered the neighborhood kids with air guns? Having been caught by police due to shooting firearms in the woods? Wouldn’t these be clues for you as a parent? If you own only books and sports equipment, you could shrug it off, I suppose. But you should brace yourself carefully - and double up your locks - if you own the sort of stuff this family did. Yikes.

On a lighter note, two other words that start with k have me preoccupied.

The first is “keester,” also spelled “keister” - the etymology is rather dull, which is sad, because it seems like it should be stemming from some sort of German word. What screws me up even more is knowing that a German would pronounce a word spelled like “keister” with emphasis on the second vowel, so it would be “k-eye-ster” and not, as the predictable second spelling variation hints, “k-eee-ster.” The fact that the word is a slang term for buttocks is noteworthy when you see the only other word in connection with it that Merrium-Webster will offer up is “satchel.” (!) Ah-ha… Right. I’ll stop with associative patterns right there, thank you…

The second word is “kindle” which, as anyone who has ever been up to a cabin in Northern US states would know, is a word not far away from “kindling,” which is the small stuff with which a person seeking to start a fire in a fireplace puts underneath logs or wood of some sort. More specifically, it has a Middle English root, “probably modification of Old Norse (how cool is that?!) from “kynda”; akin to Old High German (I knew it!) cuntesal fire…” From there, the definition goes in all sorts of directions: Light, arouse, illuminate, to become animated, to flare up…

So how long did the “Branders” look around (”brainstorm” indeed) to be able to christen a sleek little gizmo with this particular name? I’ve now heard this word so often that I had to see what the fuss was about. It makes perfect sense that none other than Amazon would take that first bold step (I think its’s a first?) to produce a flat digital, amazingly powerful digital “book” - and why wouldn’t they? They stand like no other to profit from it! Think of all the gas transportation trucks will save and the miles service men won’t have to walk to put little pink or blue slips on the door/in the mailbox telling you (well, me) to pick up the books you ordered at the nearest “Automated Pack Station” (though they sometimes still resort to post offices, which serve the same purpose, if in an archaic, humans-moving about sort of way). Think of all that paper that never needed to be produced, all those trees saved that can now produce oxygen and all the designers for book jackets, not to mention printers and book-binders that are now free to … well … blog!!! Or perhaps develop clever content from their misery to feed all those Kindles burning out there.

Kindle - could have been candle. But Kindle is also close – from the poetic flow of it – to fondle, cuddle, handle, all those cute “dle” words… I could go on. The fact is, I just cannot sign on for it. It may be one of the “no, no, no - I won’t go” protests like I have held with, say, Facebook, Twitter, other social networks and assorted programs and – shudder – HTML. At some point, there you are. Strange how that works. Not sure if it’s good or bad. I sit here looking at a good some thousand books. I always have trouble deciding which ones would go if they had to. Always. I love the differences in them, the difference in the backs they show to entice you to pluck them from the shelves, full of color, some with glitz and glitter, some with loud lettering, some very soft and delicate. Then you have it out and in your hand and you savor the various sizes, shapes, paper, textures, even smells! It isn’t just the words you read by any means, it’s a total sensual experience. Perhaps “doing it digitally” may be stripping it down to the bare, sexy essentials (I have heard reviewers of the Kindle saying it makes the words themselves even more precious.)  and I’m absolutely sure it could be a brilliant tool for people that are faced with… loss of motor skills, to put it carefully. Or that, for whatever reason, can no longer drive. For them, it certainly re-opens the world of reading.

But for me, I can’t help myself… something, somewhere is lost (or not yet achieved) in this development. I certainly wouldn’t give up my car for a horse, I know going backward is not an option, but I get dizzy and nauseated thinking I would, could or should be reading off something flat, plastic and predictable. Negroponte described it very differently when he envisioned this. Perhaps his version will make it to market some day. With pages that actually move and make paper-like rustling sounds (even if it’s only one page you’re physically turning gazillions of times)… I hope to be able to wait for that day. Or avoid – somehow – altogether.

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