Lisa Birnbach

A Book Thing

It all began with this picture I poached from Facebook.  Of course I had to repost it.  The image speaks volumes (sorry) about the superiority of books to the wondrous digital gizmos, as well as the advisability of core strength.

But I’ve noticed most of my postings are bookish.  

I had dinner with Chip Kidd.  He told me about his then upcoming talk at the TED conference about books.  

You can watch his performance at the TED site.  (Spoil Alert:  Books are here to stay.)

At a screening at the Crosby Street Hotel, I came across this animal.  He needs books too.

Then Vintage Magazine asked me to write a piece for its upcoming design issue.  I suggested I write about living with books, and books as objects.  I think it will be out towards the end of June.  (www.vintagezine.com.  It’s a beautiful magazine, incidentally.)

And it’s clear from your reactions, that loving books is something we have in common.

Loving books is not exactly the same as loving to read.  We read all day long, on our computers and on our thingies.  Some of you listen to books on your commutes and while you’re running.  There’s the onslaught of information and even a kind of information pollution as you have to look hard to find quiet.  (While you’re watching something on t.v. a promo for something else starts to intrude from the lower part of your screen.  Our screens get interrupted by other screens.) It’s not easy to find space.  To go somewhere where there are no advertisements.  (Not a bus, not a taxi, not a highway, etc.)

I find I pay much more attention to what is printed.  On a page.  Of paper.  I don’t worry about scrolling, or rewinding.  I can read at different paces, according to how I’m feeling.  It’s just the message and me without distractions. 

Maybe in a few generations, through adaptation, the human brain will be rewired differently, and no one will have a deep attention span that will be rewarded by a wonderful narrative that drives us towards a dictionary, and even forces us to think.

So for now, let’s enjoy our mutual bibliophilia together.  It sounds almost… naughty.

Love,

Lisa

  1. lisabirnbach posted this