We diehards, we "I'll never read on a screen-ers,” are reading on screens: on iPhones, iPads, tablets, Kindles, Nooks: Dostoyevsky consumed on an 8” x 5” screen…in Tahoma 12pt. Poe’s Conqueror Worm scrolling down a “Hello Kitty” iPhone.
We’re reading in the spaces in which we wait, tired magazines discarded in the recycling: we wait for medical procedures hunched over, isolated and intent, thumbs turning virtual pages, tapping links that seduce us down alleys from which we cannot find our way home.
(The cloth primer, read and soaped in the tub—our first book (My very own book!?)—moves from the supermarket shelf to the kitschy “yester year” store. We’re nostalgic, rubbing our fingers over the fabric’s printed words and pictures, remembering the roar of the tiger (“Hear Him Roar!”), the yap of the little dog in the shop window (“Woof, Woof!”). Our children wait in the backs of our cars reading Animé on impossibly thin tablets.)
Our paraphernalia finds its way to Goodwill, to Etsy stores specializing in vintage for we have no need for bookends, for leatherette bookmarks, for the mid-century bookcase. We need earphones, links to virtual libraries, charging stations, apps, an account with iTunes.