When computers first swept the nation, when virtually every home had at the very least a Commodore64, and when we spoke in Dos or Lotus, everyone in the modern world was enamored with the age of technology.
With my second home computer came the most innovative operating system, “Windows“. It changed who was able to use a computer. You no longer needed to be a computer wiz. The ordinary individual was now privy to the “World Wide Web.” Before windows you needed to type in an address in your computer’s language to get where you wanted to go. Playing Tetris on that fifteen inch screen was a feat. For me, the over sized putty colored box was little better than a word processor with muscle. However, light years ahead of my Olivetti typewriter, used with white out for errors and carbon paper for a duplicate. Still, I was in love with these advances, and trapped.
Jump ahead a few years and social networking, in the form of Aol chat rooms, consumed all our spare time, and then some. Hobbies that once filled up our leisure, crafts, game night, television, music, visiting and chit chatting over coffee, went by the wayside. There was no longer the time to sit with the friend who lived across the street and exchange ideas or listen to their problems. We were busy making new friends who lived across the country or down South. They were different, they were new. It didn’t matter that you had to redial fifty times to find an open internet line. Wow was that frustrating.
One of the past times I had engaged in before buying a computer was reading a book for pleasure, be it fiction or non fiction. I spent hours devouring books. All kinds of genres. But now, there was not another moment in the day when I could make the time to do this thing which I had so loved. From the moment, as a very young girl, I chose and picked up my first novel, “Little Women“, reading became a passion of mine. Now I had totally dispensed with the medium that excited and polished me. I had abandoned reading for enjoyment to engage in sometimes nonsense conversations with people I had nothing in common with and would never meet. But I was on the computer.
Like all things in life which burn too hot, the chat room frenzy eventually burned out. Other things took its place. We discovered that the internet was not all about time-wasting, but rather one of the greatest educational tools ever invented. All the information you could ever want was right there at your finger tips. Computers became smaller, cheaper, faster, more advanced. Nursery school children could get into and run a program. It was no longer Weebils but Webkins that enchanted them. They could move the mouse around and get their cow to walk in and out of virtual barns. How wonderful!
And then it happened again. An invention, a stride in technology. The Kindle, the Nook, the iPad. You could download and read news, magazines, fact or fiction on a portable tablet of some kind. It was easy to use, your books were less expensive than hard covers or paper backs. This new technology pulled me back to my first love, Books. I resisted at first, but having done it once, I was hooked.
Look around you, everyone is reading. The new past time is once again the gate way to knowledge, adventure and romance. It is the source of hours of intelligent conversations and exchanging of ideas. Will wonders never cease? I know some people who actually meet face to face, and over a cup of coffee discuss what they had read.
My passion for technology and books are now intertwined and formed its own DNA.