Just a few weeks ago, I took a short ride to my local Barnes & Noble Bookstore. I’ve been going to this Barnes ever since I moved to my hometown some fifteen years ago. Walking through these aisles of book shelves puts a smile on my face. Nowadays, when I go this this nostalgic place, I’ve entered into a world where no one knows that paperback still exists – a desolate and empty store with no one there but me and the store clerks. Now that the digital age as blossomed, the first thing I see when I walk into any Barnes & Noble Bookstore is a rectangular table which displays two or three nooks and next to them are various colors of Nook cases. This is what my favorite store has come to. As a college student, I do not own a Nook, in which I find these devices difficult to use upon my fingers. I’d rather touch a book and feel what it has to offer. I guess you can say that nothing gives me greater joy than holding a paperback in my two hands.
I am a student of only twenty years of age, but can I still be considered a child of the book in this digital age that has encompassed me? Is it possible to straddle both worlds?
In my experience so far, there are difficulties of how to perceive and accept both concepts of the past to present. It seems nowadays that the digital age has been forced upon us because of societal expectations from our friends and our peers who surround us every day. As college students, we are pressured into the notion that purchasing books at a bookstore can be a hassle as opposed to purchasing books from the comfort of our homes in which we can digitally view these books. Not only has the digital age prove to allow comfort and accessibility, it has also disrupt the physical action of those who want to purchase books at a store. For example, in my 18th Century Literature class, we are required to purchase a specific book in a specific edition. The local bookstore did not order enough of these books because of the assumption that most students will digitally purchase it. Therefore, everyone was not able to read and be prepared in class because everyone was not able to buy a copy. The digital age seems to conflict with those who are still a child of the book because it is difficult to hold on to both worlds.
Being a child of the book does not exclude oneself from the digital age, but instead, adds another layer of how we view ourselves in another world that we are not familiar with. It is possible to straddle both worlds because it can be a learning process. I am still an advocate of physically going to a bookstore to purchase a book so I can have the satisfaction of holding a paperback. However, I understand that the digital age has its effects on people and their decisions. By still believing in being a child of the book, not only has it effected my decisions as a student, but it has also enabled me to better understand that this generation is growing in a way that is meant to help us better understand who we are as a person in the digital age.