hollowing out reality

Marty told me that soon people would only read books electronically. “This is so crap,” I said. “Stuff like that is hollowing out reality. Books and records and films are being thrown away and digitized into a world you can never physically enter. The children of the future will just sit around in empty white rooms.” “White Wall Kids,” my brother interjected. “Good name for a band.” I frowned. “You used to have to wait for a film to be developed. But it wasn’t just the photos we loved, it was the anticipation of finally holding them in your hands.”

Benedict WellsThe End of Loneliness: A Novel (Penguin Books, January 29, 2019)


Photo: Developing Photograph is a photograph by Victor De Schwanberg

 

Comments

  1. It’s a new world for sure. And I’m starting to feel that parts of me are stuck in past ways.
    I did give digital reading a try for a couple of months. Didn’t go well. My eyes didn’t take it well. My mind didn’t like it too. When I read from an book, like actual book, books I read decades ago, I still remember where a line came from, fifth of the way bottom left of the page.
    No concept of that with digital reading.
    But, there are many different types of intellect. Different people percieve and learn and feel differently. I’ll stick with what works for me, and support everyone in what works for them.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. And yet vinyl records have made a comeback; they said movie theatres would close down and yet, still many flock to them, myself included because being surrounded by others, the big screen – not the same as at home by yourself. Books are still being printed because while Kindles are practical it’s nice to feel the heft of a book. Photographic pictures, however? That anticipation to see if you captured the image as you hoped? That is something that has become so rare. I kind of miss it, but I so very much like the immediacy of digital.
    Sigh.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Gleaning from Wells words & thoughts of Hollowing out, Seems like the time has surpassed when a hornet starts burrowing into an apple or the worm that slowly eats his way through an apple…the destruction of an apple gives them each substance while a person high on the food chain goes without the apple…the opportunity of the person was left for the scavengers…when people or mankind are asleep at the wheel a decline starts, a shift happens, an imbalance teeters and “like the children of the world…in white rooms” do not develop substance, an emptiness grows, leaving such a deep vacancy within Life…where color never blooms…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Have never downloaded a kindle. Only have real books. Times change, and our kids will definitely keep up with technology, but when we are gone they will remember our love of this forgotten culture and will teach this to their children’s, children. 😊

    Liked by 3 people

  5. re: the word “deep”, in my reality today ha the snow stopped at 20″ and we are so grateful for electricity!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hollowing out: Corporate America was gutted when corporate raiders used an axe to cut through American businesses and off- shored the manufacturing…

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I can’t imagine not reading from a real book, touching the paper, turning the page, dog -earring a corner, leaving a smug of chocolate on a page…I bought a used Kindle and have never used it because they want a credit card to establish an account even if you want to download only free material…and I think about how a toddler wouldn’t be able to trace with his chubby fingers a sweet bunny from a book or touch a truck from a Richard Scarry’s, ID books…the engagement certainly takes a hit when a tot can’t touch the physical page!

    Liked by 4 people

  8. I was visiting my daughter’s kindergarten class years ago…the teacher was showing the children how to handle books, as they are gifts… giving them the reverence

    Liked by 2 people

  9. My first thought when I heard that books were going digital was “what would happen if something went wrong and cyberspace crashed”? Imagine losing all the books ever written because of a massive “power outage.”

    Liked by 1 person

  10. We are a species of bests and worsts, and must swing the pendulum as far as it can go before finding the middle…

    Liked by 1 person

  11. there is something about the real thing that draws me in, a totally different experience, i enjoy the feel of the paper, the weight, the color of the ink, the font, the images on the big screen, the live sound of music- all senses fired.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    ‘Hollowing out reality’ … the new way of the world!! How sad …

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I got to go on a business trip to NYC a couple years ago.
    They picked me up at the airport and took me to the office. Gave me a company car to go to the hotel.
    The manager asked if I knew how to get to the hotel.
    “I’ll just google up a map and print it off. I’ll be fine”
    He looked at me funny and said “Why don’t you just use your phone?”
    That’s when I went into my throwback old codger mode.
    “Oh no. I don’t use my phone for that kind of thing. That’s a slippery slope for me. I want my phone to just be a phone like the good old days. If I use it for a map today, I might end up using it for working a crossword puzzle tomorrow. God, how I hate the 21st century”
    It was about then I realized just how stupid that sounds.
    So when the trip was over, and I came back to my world, guess who started using the map function on their phone?
    I do crossword puzzles on it too.
    Do you really want to wait 3 weeks to get your film developed?
    Its not the end of the world. Not yet.lol

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I agree with all the comments above, and I especially like all of the traditionalists’ thoughts of the tactile feel of a real book in ones’ hands as well. When Brenda and I met, I had four lawyer case bookshelves that were full, and that was in my two-floor 300 square foot townhouse. Now, some twenty years later, I am down to two full lawyer cases here in Parksville, with many of the books that were in the other two now in storage. I still enjoy going to one of my two remaining lawyer cases, lifting the glass door, and retrieving the book I want to read. There begins the sensory experience to read the retrieved book …

    I am guilty as charged though, I have begun to use my iPad more for reading, but mostly for WordPress and Flipboard. And there is something to be said for a Kindle or an iPad, especially if one travels a lot, or is going on an extended vacation where it is just too difficult to bring along all the books you may want to read.

    To add to Beth’s comments above … there is something about the smell of a new book or magazine as well. Now if I could only get Brenda to stop “smelling” the glossy magazines in the checkout lines at the grocery store or the new books in our local Chapters store, I wouldn’t have to go the other way all the time to give her (and me) some space …

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I love it, David. But, then, I’m OLD! I just spent an hour on the phone fixing a malware problem. Give me a pencil and paper, and maybe a coloring book!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I fondly remember the visits to the branch library…my Mom usually had her Red Hair fancied up on top of her head, she be wearing a “Butte Knit” dress ensemble from Nordstroms,as she marched in with four little pretty girls in tow, (the boys were older and doing their own thing) my eyes lite up when I would wonder through the children’s section…settle on a few, sit down and enter another world…some books came home with me, my siblings and our Mom…/// I remember books my Mom had laying on the built-in outside her bedroom, I would stare at the cover art, read the back of the paper backs and figure that I Wasn’t Old Enough to Read those…one was called “Christy” (a smart, strong-willed school teacher who taught in a one room schoolhouse in the Appalachian mountains ) of course that interested me…”Valley of the Dolls” and “Coffee, Tea or Me” about some airline-stewardess exploits…there we others popular books of the time…///books, like waterfalls, the ocean and trees ingrained happily, into my life at an early age…just can’t imagine that so many people in this world have never had enough money to own their own book or Bible…reading a book is an adventure filled experience!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. It’s getting really weird out there. We truly are transitioning to a new digital paradigm which reflects into every corner of existence. That being said, things are so fractured and chaotic that I find I listen to far more audiobooks than reading ebooks. If I read books, it’s still ink on paper. Cheers.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. You know that someday instead of reading an E Book, all you’ll have to do is take a pill. People will say “I miss that electric smell, and the hardshell plastic feel of the Kindle in my hand, and the split second of anticipation while Wuthering Heights is downloaded to my machine”
    Then, down the hatch.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I’ve always liked a book in my hands. It offers one the opportunity to underline when a chord has been struck, dog-ear a page to be remembered, it provides to the touch the unique feel that only a book can provide, and when shelved in a book case one has access to a personal library of what matters most to the soul.
    -Alan

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Christie says:

    Re: Dale mentioned the return of vinyl…I just happened to see this article today, about the allure of vinyl records.
    https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2019/03/the-ux-of-vinyl-the-medium-is-the-message/
    Re:Bulletholes and printing up a map…ha, my sweet hubby collects folding maps, county and state maps,he picked some up at the thrift store last month…he buys a new Road Atlas every few years, I make sure each car has a new state map yearly (free from the DMV) one of the cars (old) has an early navigation system – doesn’t interest us as we look at paper maps if we venture into unknown territory…PS: where I live GPS isn’t reliable, every year many people get lost, some even Die before the searcher can find them…also many areas do not have any cell coverage…often the police broadcast of an out of state motorist last seen here and was headed to x destination…some end up over the embankment into a river or there car is found and they never are…one year I kept track of GPS goofs which lead people wrongly – six that made the paper in 3 months…I say use a state map…

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Anonymous says:

    Ha, so you weren’t a little lad who studied maps so that when you found a treasure map you’d be able to navigate the BC woods looking for buried bounty?

    Liked by 1 person

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