My Life in Books

Post Preface: For the next few months, Books, Birdies, and Earl Grey will be doubling as a “learning blog” for one of my media classes. Most of my blogs will stick to book discussion, but may look more scholarly in nature.

“Morris Lessmore loved words. He loved stories. He loved books.”

These are the opening lines from William Joyce’s children’s book The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, a tragically beautiful story about the eye opening and fulfilling life that books give us. While a book probably isn’t the first thing most people think of when someone says the word technology, they have definitely been the most influential piece of technology in my life.

While most people in my generation are becoming more and more dependent on digital technologies, in this ever-changing (and at times confusing) new world we live in, I find myself becoming more and more lost in the fictional, simple worlds created by books. Although I’m dependent on a technology that is considered somewhat out of date by today’s standards, I think my addiction is still a testament to how dependent our society has become on technology as a whole.

It is this question that I would like to address in my digital story. What is it about technology that makes it so engrossing? Or really, what is it about us that make us so dependent on technology? This dependency is bringing us dangerously close to the world of Dave Egger’s The Circle; where anything and everything we do must be documented through social media and our interactions are mediated through some kind of screen.

While the specifics of my project are not yet clear in my mind, my vision is to focus on the relationships we have with the various technologies available to us. Later in his book, Joyce says, “Sometimes Morris would become lost in a book and scarcely emerge for days.” I think this line, more than any other line in the book, defines the way we interact with the various technologies in our world, whether it be a cell phone, computer, or, in my case, a book.

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2 thoughts on “My Life in Books

  1. I can see this project going in different directions. First, it could be a project about the deep relationships we have with stories, specifically literature. The book itself is a technology, but the book is changing. Do we get the same sense of engrossment if we’re not reading a physical book?

    What makes me think about that is your own personal relationships with books. Coincidentally, I attended yesterday’s event at the library, where two students talked about their book collections. Also there was Kelly Carlisle, who gave a pretty impassioned speech about the book as a physical object, and how you can’t get the same sense of connection from a digital copy. Digital copies don’t bear the marks of wear and tear as print copies do, and she definitely gave me the sense of feeling a loss.

    I don’t know why reading your post made me think of the Luddites. It made me think of this article on Smithsonian Magazine, though I don’t know if it is relevant. I’m just sharing it as something to think about http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/what-the-luddites-really-fought-against-264412/

  2. Pingback: The Power to Create | Books, Birdies, and Earl Grey

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