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« on: Jul 05, 2011 10:18 PM »


Totally how I feel about books!!
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In The Age of Distraction, We Need One Thing More Than Ever: Books



http://www.huffingtonpost.com/johann-hari/in-the-age-of-distraction-books_b_883622.html?ref=fb&src=sp

In the twentieth century, all the nightmare-novels of the future imagined books would be burned. In the twenty-first century, our dystopias imagine a world where books are forgotten. To pluck just one, Gary Steynghart's novel Super Sad True Love Story describes a world where everybody is obsessed with their electronic Apparat -- an even more omnivorous iPhone with a flickering stream of shopping and reality shows and porn -- and have somehow come to believe that the few remaining unread paper books let off a rank smell. The book on the book, it suggests, is closing.

I have been thinking about this because I recently moved flats, which for me meant boxing and heaving several Everests of books, accumulated obsessively since I was a kid. Ask me to throw away a book, and I begin shaking like Meryl Streep in Sophie's Choice and insist that I just couldn't bear to part company with it, no matter how unlikely it is I will ever read (say) a 1000-page biography of little-known Portuguese dictator Antonio Salazar. As I stacked my books high, and watched my friends get buried in landslides of novels or avalanches of polemics, it struck me that this scene might be incomprehensible a generation from now. Yes, a few specialists still haul their vinyl collections from house to house, but the rest of us have migrated happily to MP3s, and regard them as slightly odd. Does it matter? What was really lost?

The book -- the physical paper book -- is being circled by a shoal of sharks, with sales down 9 percent this year alone. It's being chewed by the e-book. It's being gored by the death of the bookshop and the library. And most importantly, the mental space it occupied is being eroded by the thousand Weapons of Mass Distraction that surround us all. It's hard to admit, but we all sense it: it is becoming almost physically harder to read books. I think we should start there -- because it shows why we need the physical book to survive, and hints at what we need to do to make sure it does.

In his gorgeous little book The Lost Art of Reading -- Why Books Matter in a Distracted Time, the critic David Ulin admits to a strange feeling. All his life, he had taken reading as for granted as eating -- but then, a few years ago, he "became aware, in an apartment full of books, that I could no longer find within myself the quiet necessary to read." He would sit down to do it at night, as he always had, and read a few paragraphs, then find his mind was wandering, imploring him to check his email, or Twitter, or Facebook. "What I'm struggling with," he writes, "is the encroachment of the buzz, the sense that there's something out there that merits my attention, when in fact it's mostly a series of disconnected riffs, quick takes and fragments, that add up to the anxiety of the age."

I think most of us have this sense today, if we are honest. If you read a book with your laptop thrumming at the other side of the room, it can feel like trying to read with a heavy metal band shrieking in front of you. To read, you need to slow down. You need mental silence except for the words. That's getting harder to find.

No, don't misunderstand me. I adore the web, and they will have to wrench my Twitter feed from my cold dead hands. This isn't going to turn into an antedeluvian rant against the glories of our wired world. But there's a reason why that word -- 'wired' -- means both 'connected to the internet' and 'high, frantic, unable to concentrate.'

So in the age of the internet, physical paper books are a technology we need more, not less.
In the 1950s, the novelist Herman Hesse wrote: "The more the need for entertainment and mainstream education can be met by new inventions, the more the book will recover its dignity and authority. We have not yet quite reached the point where young competitors, such as radio, cinema, etc, have taken over the functions from the book it can't afford to lose."

We have now reached that point. And here's the function that the book -- the paper book that doesn't beep or flash or link or let you watch a thousand videos all at once -- does for you that nothing else will. It gives you the capacity for deep, linear concentration. As Ulin puts it: "Reading is an act of resistance in a landscape of distraction... It requires us to pace ourselves. It returns us to a reckoning with time. In the midst of a book, we have no choice but to be patient, to take each thing in its moment, to let the narrative prevail. We regain the world by withdrawing from it just a little, by stepping back from the noise."

A book has a different relationship to time than a TV show or a Facebook update. It says that something was worth taking from the endless torrent of data and laying down on an object that will still look the same a hundred years from now. The French writer Jean-Phillipe De Tonnac says "the true function of books is to safeguard the things that forgetfulness constantly threatens to destroy." It's precisely because it is not immediate -- because it doesn't know what happened five minutes ago in Kazakhstan, or in Charlie Sheen's apartment -- that the book matters.

That's why we need books, and why I believe they will survive. Because most humans have a desire to engage in deep thought and deep concentration. Those muscles are necessary for deep feeling and deep engagement. Most humans don't just want mental snacks forever; they also want meals. The twenty hours it takes to read a book require a sustained concentration it's hard to get anywhere else. Sure, you can do that with a DVD boxset too -- but your relationship to TV will always ultimately be that of a passive spectator. With any book, you are the co-creator, imagining it as you go. As Kurt Vonnegut put it, literature is the only art form in which the audience plays the score.

I'm not against e-books in principle -- I'm tempted by the Kindle -- but the more they become interactive and linked, the more they multitask and offer a hundred different functions, the less they will be able to preserve the aspects of the book that we actually need. An e-book reader that does a lot will not, in the end, be a book. The object needs to remain dull so the words -- offering you the most electric sensation of all: insight into another person's internal life -- can sing.

So how do we preserve the mental space for the book? We are the first generation to ever use the internet, and when I look at how we are reacting to it, I keep thinking of the Inuit communities I met in the Arctic, who were given alcohol and sugar for the first time a generation ago, and guzzled them so rapidly they were now sunk in obesity and alcoholism. Sugar, alcohol and the web are all amazing pleasures and joys -- but we need to know how to handle them without letting them addle us.

The idea of keeping yourself on a digital diet will, I suspect, become mainstream soon. Just as I've learned not to stock my fridge with tempting carbs, I've learned to limit my exposure to the web -- and to love it in the limited window I allow myself. I have installed the program 'Freedom' on my laptop: it will disconnect you from the web for however long you tell it to. It's the Ritalin I need for my web-induced ADHD. I make sure I activate it so I can dive into the more permanent world of the printed page for at least two hours a day, or I find myself with a sense of endless online connection that leaves you oddly disconnected from yourself.

T.S. Eliot called books "the still point of the turning world." He was right. It turns out, in the age of super-speed broadband we need dead trees to have living minds
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« Reply #1 on: Jul 06, 2011 07:32 AM »

So true sis

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« Reply #2 on: Jul 07, 2011 06:22 AM »

So true sis

Is this because you've written a book or because you like books Wink

ws
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« Reply #3 on: Jul 07, 2011 06:24 AM »

Quote

Is this because you've written a book or because you like books Wink

ws


neither. but coz Im infected too with the D-virus  Sad

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« Reply #4 on: Jul 07, 2011 11:02 AM »

salam

You know something, this is the advantage to a long tedious commute into work, I get to read loads, I'm currently working my way thro the Arabian nights, downside it's a massive tome even tho it's split into three seperate books.




Wassalaam

And when My servants question thee concerning Me, then surely I am nigh. I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he crieth unto Me. So let them hear My call and let them trust in Me, in order that they may be led aright. Surah 2  Verse 186
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« Reply #5 on: Jul 07, 2011 11:12 AM »

Is it just me who thinks ladies read more than men?  Huh?

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« Reply #6 on: Jul 07, 2011 10:50 PM »

ws,

I think it's you! I think some ppl like reading and others don't. I know lots of girls who don't read at all!! So guess it all evens out in the end!  oldshaykh
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« Reply #7 on: Jul 08, 2011 02:35 AM »

I love reading and the physical book itself more than anything. I still believe in it and will continue to do so.

I have read a few ebooks - not the same thing as cuddling with a good book.

The Almighty Allah says,

"When a servant thinks of Me, I am near.
When he invokes Me, I am with him.
If he reflects on Me in secret, I reply in secret,
And if he acknowledges Me in an assembly,
I acknowledge him in a far superior assembly."

- Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as reptd by Abu Huraira
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« Reply #8 on: Jul 11, 2011 05:10 AM »

Asalaamu Alaikum bro

Quote
..it is becoming almost physically harder to read books..

It would be interesting to see research on how people digest information when they read things in a digital versus printed form.

Does the way one read actually impact on the quality of the information being absorbed?

From an Islamic perspective for example, there are certain etiquettes prescribed when we recite the Qur'an designed to reinforce our understanding. There is an essence here of *how* we read being as important as *what* we read.

The article is also a great reminder of the benefits of Ramadhan when many aspects of online 'chatter' can be reduced and concentration can be enhanced.

Say: "O ye my servants who believe! Fear your Lord, good is (the reward) for those who do good in this world. Spacious is God's earth! those who patiently persevere will truly receive a reward without measure!" [39:10]
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« Reply #9 on: Jul 11, 2011 01:46 PM »

salam


Funny you should say that Br Khalid.

Whenever I have a very improtant document to send out, I always always always, print it out first and re-read it thro and pretty much everytime there are mistakes in it which I have failed to catch on the computer!

I think this is true for a lot of people as I've spotted insane mistakes from loads of people in emails...solicitors being one (and that's not good, altho it amuses me as the solicitors are not representing me)!



Wassalaam

And when My servants question thee concerning Me, then surely I am nigh. I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he crieth unto Me. So let them hear My call and let them trust in Me, in order that they may be led aright. Surah 2  Verse 186
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« Reply #10 on: Jul 11, 2011 02:13 PM »

I dont think I can convert to an ebook..I cant focus. On the other hand, some people at work have started to read because of ebooks and all these tablets etc..so they are not all that bad. I agree though, someone does need to study what is being absorbed....

In this digital age it may seem like people are reading more - but I dont think the quality is so good. I'm with sis Fozia- when reviewing something really important I try to print it out and review..otherwise, the alternative is to review it on the computer like 50 times more. I catch more on paper...but I try to avoid printing when necessary to conserve resources...go figure.


peace

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« Reply #11 on: Jul 12, 2011 06:03 AM »

Asalaamu Alaikum bro

Quote
..it is becoming almost physically harder to read books..

It would be interesting to see research on how people digest information when they read things in a digital versus printed form.


That is an interesting question. And voracious readers will have to answer that

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« Reply #12 on: Sep 10, 2011 08:09 PM »

gulp... puke

-------

The End Of Books: Ikea Is Changing Shelves To Reflect Changing Demand

by JOHN BIGGS posted 21 Hours Ago

If you needed any more proof that the age of dead-tree books is over take a look at these alarming style changes at Ikea: the furniture manufacturer’s iconic BILLY bookcase – the bookcase that everyone put together when they got their first apartment and, inevitably, pounded the nails wrong into – is becoming deeper and more of a curio cabinet. Why? Because Ikea is noticing that customers no longer buy them for books.

This isn’t quite the canary in the coal mine – think of it as a slight tickle in the mine foreman’s throat – but all signs are pointing to the end of the physical book. There are plenty of analogs to this situation. When’s the last time you saw a casette tape rack sold outside of Odd Lots? What about the formal “stereo cabinet” with plenty of room for records? What about Virgin Megastores?

As much as it pains me to say this and as horrible as it sounds, the book is leaving us.

The Economist writes:

    Next month IKEA will introduce a new, deeper version of its ubiquitous “BILLY” bookcase. The flat-pack furniture giant is already promoting glass doors for its bookshelves. The firm reckons customers will increasingly use them for ornaments, tchotchkes and the odd coffee-table tome—anything, that is, except books that are actually read.

Will bookstores disappear? I think so. With the rise of popular fiction appearing on ereaders, I think the paperback will be the first to go and all that will be left is the “curio” hardback. Then I look forward to a half decade of the publishing industry scrambling to stem piracy and flail wildly at consumers, then hardware manufacturers, then finally settle into the long-fall doldrums the music industry is now facing.

I’m a writer. I love books. I love/hate the publishing industry. But when Ikea is against your product, it might be time to curtail the long agent lunches before it’s too late.

via SplatF
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« Reply #13 on: Sep 12, 2011 12:26 PM »

salam


I find bookcases take up more space than books do, I have a shallow book case in my girls playroom, then I have books in the dresser and airing cupboard, and on my dressing table, I think there are a couple on the floor beside my bed that I'm in the middle of reading....


Years ago I had a boss whose house was stacked with books, there were piles of books everywhere, on the floor in neat little piles at the top of staircases absolutely everywhere...her home looked like a story book home of ye olde england for eccentric old ladies.........she was American (and spoke with a hilariously posh english accent )




Wassalaam

And when My servants question thee concerning Me, then surely I am nigh. I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he crieth unto Me. So let them hear My call and let them trust in Me, in order that they may be led aright. Surah 2  Verse 186
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« Reply #14 on: Jan 18, 2012 05:38 PM »

Let's see those fancy e-readers do this!! 

The Joy of Books
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« Reply #15 on: Jan 18, 2012 06:50 PM »

^ OHhhhh very nice ... I love bookstores <3 I went to the Strand in New York and it was pretty awesome! They had a whole floor with just rare books either first prints/autographed etc. I really wanted a Jane Austen book but didn't find one loll ...

Anyway over all really nice articles and really good points ... esp br K! I know with myself I have huge concentration issues when trying to read long articles online ... I had to read some for a friend once and I ended up printing out whichever ones I could.

salam


I find bookcases take up more space than books do, I have a shallow book case in my girls playroom, then I have books in the dresser and airing cupboard, and on my dressing table, I think there are a couple on the floor beside my bed that I'm in the middle of reading....


Years ago I had a boss whose house was stacked with books, there were piles of books everywhere, on the floor in neat little piles at the top of staircases absolutely everywhere...her home looked like a story book home of ye olde england for eccentric old ladies.........she was American (and spoke with a hilariously posh english accent )




Wassalaam
'

lol that sounds really cool with books stacked all over the house in a neat manner!!!
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« Reply #16 on: Jan 18, 2012 09:19 PM »

salam

by the way that video was shot in a bookstore in Toronto!  I <3 Toronto. 

take care
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« Reply #17 on: Jan 20, 2012 05:51 AM »

I absolutely love reading. No matter what, I prefer reading a book than watching its movie. Nothing can ever compare to ones personal imagination
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« Reply #18 on: Feb 13, 2012 04:52 PM »

Wow these are so beautiful!! Definitely need to visit some of these and spend the day! bookworm


--> The 20 Most Beautiful Bookstores in the World

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« Reply #19 on: Feb 13, 2012 06:39 PM »

Wow!!!! There's two in California that I have not seen before .. (well I haven't seen the other ones either but yeah)!
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« Reply #20 on: Apr 20, 2012 03:51 PM »

I have read roughly 49 books over the last 49 weeks. That is a record for me. I started off slow and small, and have worked up to "respectable" sizes over time.
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