Crisp letters on yellow pages

04 November 2012

Books. People never really stop loving books. Fifty-first century. By now you've got holovids, direct-to-brain downloads, fiction mist. But you need the smell. The smell of books, Donna. Deep breath! 

That's from a TV show I watch about a time traveller (Hint: he's a Doctor). He was commenting on the persistence of books even in a very advanced civilization like the 51st century. And indeed, it rings true even until today. Nothing better represents the repertoire of the human experience as much as black ink sharply embossed onto white paper.

I just finished reading The Hunger Games trilogy and I should say, it was a very excellent read. The ending left on a very bittersweet note, with me undecided as to be happy or sad for the character. You see, the protagonist of the novel, 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen, is being contested with the love of two men, each of who has a significant impact in her life.

In the end, he has to choose one. And she did. But my point here is not to glorify the work of the author but to... marvel on how the written word can as easily move a person into feeling such emotions, how black ink sharply embossed onto gritty paper can evoke sympathy or hate or love or happiness.

In this age of increasingly technological advances, people getting less and less attention spans are slowly deviating from the methodical patience, the gradual build-up of a book's plot. Within its pages, we establish a link with the characters, we see what they see, and feel what they feel.

Through the written word, we do not just simply gloss our eyes over black ink sharply embossed onto crisp paper, but we become part of the story, we see their lives unfold; their lives exist in our hands as we turn the pages and learn more about them.

It's this... deep connection that we have with a book's characters that cannot be done in any other form of media. While music is medicine for the soul and movies are an escape from reality, books are the doorways to another world. Whether it be a post-apocalyptic Earth governed by a Capitol or a Time Lord who merrily skips all throughout time and space, there's no adventure more exciting than reading from black ink sharply embossed in smooth paper.

We read, then we sympathize with the characters. Then we begin to read more, as our sense of adventure is piqued, until we come to a single book that just strikes us the most. We then read it over and over, trying to absorb every little detail in this one little book that is our all-time favorite. This book which we grew fond of shapes our perception of life in some way. We realize that their stories persist and resonate in the real world, and the black ink sharply embossed onto yellow paper becomes our life's beacon.

I close Mockingjay with a faint smile on my face, and grab the next book on my shelf. Another adventure awaits, as I flip through the first chapter.

No comments:

Post a Comment