Pages & Paws

Writing, Reading, and Rural Life With a Border Collie

Techno-Dinosauris & Other Pesky Critters

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We’ve all heard about ’em.  Seen ’em.  Some of us even own a few.  I’m talking about the latest and greatest in communication technology: iPhones, smart phones, iPads, texting.  Handy-dandy little items, these, especially when it comes to capturing creative genius on the fly.  Right?  Uh, right?  Put another way: what recording device do I use to lasso that creative gem before it stales and staggers into the overcrowded corral of busy forgetfulness?

Don’t Tell Anyone

I use paper and a pen.  No, really.  I do (don’t tell anyone).  You’ll hear plenty of folks hawking the marvels of modern technology for jotting down their flashes of brilliance.  I’m not one of them.  Call me an old-fashioned stick in the mud, but I prefer cramming a pen and a 3″ x 4″ spiral bound notebook into my pocket for this purpose.  The items are small, portable, lightweight, easily accessible, require neither electricity nor batteries and are… inexpensive (in the case of an overturned canoe or sudden downpour out on the trail).  Added bonus: paper and pen are also low-tech, e.g., don’t require a Ph.D in computer software to operate.

Yeah, I’m a Dinosaur

Another confession.  I prefer a good old-fashioned hard copy book that I can hold in my hands to any ebook, any day of the week.  I know, I know.  I’m a dinosaur.  Know what?  I don’t care.


There’s a lot to be said for opening a real book, the kind you have to touch, turn pages, feel texture, smell ink, creak covers open.  Return on time or risk the ire of your local librarian.  Call me a brontosaurus, but as far as I’m concerned, real books are paper-and-ink, not bytes and bits.  It’s like having lunch with a real flesh-and-blood friend vs.  a Facebook conversation or trying to cultivate an authentic “relationship” via 140 character tweets.

The ‘Microwave Version’?

Real books are never in a hurry.  They’re meant to be savored, enjoyed over time like a long chat with an old friend.  There’s something inherently awry with “read on the fly” technology whose primary purpose is convenience.  There’s something about physically holding a book and turning real pages that’s lost on a Kindle.  Sure, the latter may be quick and convenient, but is that what reading is about?  Kindle-ing and the like strikes me as trying to rush a sunset or telling Mozart to hurry.  Real books pour their wit and winsomeness into our minds, seep into our souls, wrap around our hearts and woo us into their world over time, via the printed page.  You just can’t do that with the “microwave” version.

Am I hopeless, or what?

Do you prefer ebook or hard copy? Why?


P.S.: Get the inside scoop on my next writing project first!

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