16 June 2010

Reading ~ as in “Print is Dead” ~ and those damn glasses I have to wear.

I remember the time…I was a young 39 then, working in Portland, Oregon doing a project on some computers and part of this idiotic task was to obtain the serial number of any PC I worked on. These were IBM PCs of the 300PLish generation. They looked a lot like this: (first attempt at inserting an image. Drumroll please….)

Notice in the bottom right corner, the evil people at IBM have emblazoned some tiny tiny letters, barely visible. This is the machine type and serial number that I had to lift from each machine I worked on. Well one dreary winter morning in Portland, I got under the desk to get this info, and much the my worst fears, Presbyopia had set it. I could not get close enough to the label to see it clearly, and if I moved away, it was too dark. I should have seen it in the tea leaves the night before…reading glasses were in my near future.

Prior to that morning, where the harsh reality of impending old age setting in was never in my mind, I was an avid reader. Anything in print was fair game, from the back of a cereal box in the morning, to 4 sections of the daily fishwrap, to any book at night. But for some reason, the idea that I needed to wear fucking glasses now just put the brakes on my reading anything. Strange yes, you don’t have to tell me. Even to this day, friends I knew in the past worlds of the 80s and 90s will start to ask me about books I read. I have that blank stare. “Print is dead,” will be my reply. I guess to my “credit,” and I say this in a very self-serving way, I do a fair amount of reading on the internets. Maybe not novel reading, but enough bullshit stories to fill this feeble mind. I just never opened a book again.

Lately there have been a few people I have hung around who read. Books. Novels. Once I threw out the obligatory museum jokes, I got to thinking about it. There was always something special about letting an author lead you around their little world between the covers (as does with a director in a movie, but that is a later topic). Last summer I found some books on CD, and in my long summer weekend drives to the netherworlds of Kansas and Oklahoma, I listened to a few good books. It wasn’t a satisfactory replacement, but it was much better than listening to the right wing radio stations that saturate the dial in those backward places. Evolution? Haha not here pal. But again, reading a book, I got to thinking about it.

There is a silly commercial about the Amazon Kindle. And Sony has a nice reader…and the iPad may have a real function. I wonder if those would count as books. I am getting closer and closer. I have reading glasses that make me look like an old man (probably something to do with the grey hair too) but I’m starting to just accept it. I have to use them to read a bloody menu anymore for crying out loud. Old age has crept up on me. Old habits…always. I see a book in my future.

I’ll be sure to post a book review if I ever get that far. Print is dead. E-Ink, that is some cool shit. And let’s not talk about Pixel Qi…

Filed under:La Voz del Norte — la voz @ 1:15 am
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