I Write BooksI' m writing books
From the Norwegian by Ingvild Burkey.
Writing in your textbooks now
It is the time of the gold ages of the print world. Digitizing textbooks, along with the distribution of electronical reading devices, will be a blessing for the reader - just as digitized photographing has been a blessing for photographers. At last they are freeing them from the shackles they have been tied up with for a thousand years.
It is not possible to physically prove that a certain volume has been studied by a certain individual. Inclusion of the textbooks we are reading in our convictions, reminiscences and sentiments. When I was at the beginning of the 19th millennium (in the 1950s), I was old enough to be enclosed in old-fashioned textbooks - with a solid back and fluttering pages.
In my printed publications, my handwritten documents, the date I started and ended where I read, a card or railcard, a press conference, an eulogy for the writer. My covers contain hard copies of the e-mail exchange with my friend who suggested the work and occasional letters with the work.
Pulling a notebook off the bookshelf, I again sense the ephemeras and favourite parts I would have overlooked. Some years ago I asked Levenger clients if they had written in their accounts or not. The answers were about 60/40 in favour of those who are writing (which I call Footprint Leavers) against those who are holding back (Preservationists).
Passion is high in both sides, and strangely both groups are justifying their position in the same way: their passion for the work. Some years ago I was a great tolerance for conservationists and even commended them for their contributions to the flourishing second-hand literature markets, from which I myself bought literally a hundred copies.
However, today, with the explosion of ebooks soon to come, I have altered my opinion. When you have kids or other people you love who will one day come into your book, you should start writing in it now. Irrespective of how strongly you are leaning on the side of the keepers, you must know that your signature in your textbooks can be their pass to conservation.
Dr. Will Provine, Cornell Lecturer of the Department of the History of Sciences, has followed the evolutionary process by studying the side note of scholars in their periodicals and book. Harvard scientist Owen Gingerich followed the unexpected reality of Copernicus' influence on space through his manuscript in his de revolutionary.
It is likely that today's historic figures will regret the emergence of ebooks, as the history of the twentieth centuries ruined the phone and how it fell into the dark memory of the man's exchange, previously immortalised in deeds. Sarajevo Haggadah's vine spots and random script are part of what makes them so precious today.
It is your letter that makes your book a treasured artifact for your heirs. Today's youngsters will think that ebooks are common because they will be, and the kids will be inquisitive about the old hard copy as we are inquisitive when we see Eduison cylindrical readers and stereo scopes. Hardcover textbooks will still glow brightly, but with a different emphasis.
So, today, dear readers, when there are plenty of hardcover textbooks and pencils in abundance and we still know how to spell by heart, stalk your things. You can use your textbooks like a diary. If you are reading a children's textbook to a beloved person, let the baby type his name and his or her ages, type yours (at least your name), type what you are feeling at that point, what your young readers have said about the textbook, the date and the place.
In one or two generations, your little literary guide may appreciate the print version more than we can imagin. Grab the hard copy ledger, grab your pens, grab your own skill to use your own hands to do it. Now, dear readers, have I persuaded you to put it in your textbooks?