Thursday, April 2, 2009

Books and hankies will never go out of style

In library school we are always compelled to have the discussion about whether, in this digital age of Kindles and online books, real print books will become obsolete. Let me say right now that I have never used a Kindle and would happily try it with an open mind (I already know the reasons why people think they're cool and convenient) if someone tossed one my way, as a tool that has a specific purpose.
But my argument is always something like this: The more time we spend at our computers for work and play, will we really want more screen time at the end of the day, as we curl up in bed? Do we even know how screen-reading impacts our eyes, long-term? (The answer is no, we are the guinea pigs.) And finally, reading is forever a tactile experience that includes smell, texture, sound, and the physical weight of a book in our hands.
The thrill of holding this copy of Peter Pan in my hands, from 1911, with its thick pages, spotty brown in places, with broken spine and worn cover, is not even in the same universe as a digitized book.

Photoplay images? Come on, this is pre-talking in movies!

The Swap--CHOO update...Is that my hankie is almost ready to send off to my partner, and I know just which poem I will send her! I like to think about 16 ladies, as near as two miles away and as far as Norway and Italy, who are making rolled-hem hankies for an unknown person somewhere else in the world. Check out our Flickr group to see what's been posted.
Jonas drawing a dragon.
Jonas spent the other afternoon after school copying a dragon from a book. Not tracing, mind you (which is also OK), but actually using his eyes to copy the image he was seeing. I love it that the art instruction at his school is integrated with everything, not just a class that comes once or twice a week. And what is at first implied (in grade one) and later (middle school) directly taught, is how to see something in the world and translate it mentally onto your page. That's what I learned in art school, much later than first grade.


  1. Iris, did you go to Art school? Is this Librarian post grad work, you didn't do an undergrad degree in it?

    (I'm just trying to work out if you studied how to take beautiful photos, and whether there's a lot of professional know-how going on...)

  2. Oh no no no no no. I could never curl up in bed or on the couch with a SCREEN (shudder). Nah, I love paper and pages and turning them over and closing them up for the night.

    That is a fabulous dragon, by the way.

  3. It looks so pretty I can't wait! I sent yours out today! :D