October 08, 2012

In Praise of Books

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There is something about books, something wonderful, something mysterious. We have somehow symbolized reality by a miracle we call language. And one of the most precious and enduring form of language is the written word. Where did we ever think to denote our sounds with the lines and angles and curves we call letters. And where did we think to combine them endlessly into words, phrases a sentences, paragraphs, chapters, books, and libraries. Yet here you and I are now, mysteriously connected through this medium called language and the written word. Somehow these shapes on the screen symbolize reality and light up our mind.

There is an old saying, “Paper has perfect recall.” And thus, even as language and culture change, our books have held a kind of lasting memory of human thought and creativity. Even when living humans forget, books can remain on a shelf, only to be rediscovered many years later. People are forgetful, but paper has perfect recall.

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