I had to work late yesterday, and, since my firm isn't big on overtime, my boss told me to come in late today. So as not to alter with my normal morning routine and consequently tear a hole in the space-time continuum, I left at my usual time and spent an hour in a Barnes and Noble.
People, as Steve Jobs says, don't read anymore. Constant scoldings from publishers and scholars inform us that too often we accept internet headlines and succinct blog entries in place of tradtional print. Today, however, as I crooked my neck to scan the titles on hundreds of spines, I realized that I would much rather be doing this from a computer. While there is something to be said about the surprises I will inevitably come across by randomly browsing the shelves, I'll trade them any day for a search bar.
As my mind bounces from subject to subject, writer to writer, I find my feet can't keep up. I'll open up a book and instantly forget what I have decided to look for next. Oh shit...I forget if this one was to the left or the right of that big blue one...which looks interesting...but wasn't I headed over there...for a big blue book, right...fuck. But, in the wonderful world of the interweb, I can simultaneously divide my conscious between a dozen different tabs and windows, opening, closing and searching at will.
While staying out of bookstores may keep me somewhat detached from the experience of reading for pleasure, I can't deny the simple pleasure I get from browsing through 184 titles...all without incurring the dreaded Taco Neck Syndrome.