August 27, 2004

Books and a Digital Life

In response to "Reading at Risk" and to my father's commentary, both noted here, I am working on the following essay. It is a work in progress.

I am, in the eyes of many of my peers, afflicted by a most peculiar
eccintricity: I love books. There are several drawbacks to this, of
course, such as the pain of carrying boxes of the things when I move,
and finding space for bookshelves everywhere I go. Yet I insist on
buying them, scrounging for them in give-away piles, carting them
around, making them a part of my life.

The reason my compatriots find this somewhat odd is that we sit in the
heart of the technologically "hip" generation. I am a scientist, an
astronomy graduate student by day (and often, night) spending my time
designing cutting-edge instruments to probe the beginning of the
universe. I am 24. This places me in the midst of the much-discussed
18 to 24 demographic, coveted by marketers, possessed of hypertrophied
thumbs from constant text messaging, arbitors of "cool" -- and,
according to the NEA, the segment in which the reading of literature
has declined most sharply in recent decades. So even though, word for
word, I read considerably more off of a computer screen than the
printed page, being as I am a rather anemic consumer, lacking in
either cellphone or huge digits, probably more "uncool" than anyone
has the heart to tell me, and, yes, an avid reader, I stick out.

Posted by mill1974 at August 27, 2004 07:16 PM | TrackBack
Post a comment

Remember personal info?

The views and opinions expressed in this page are strictly those of the page author.
The contents of this page have not been reviewed or approved by the University of Minnesota.