No this is not a mystery that will unfold here, but a simple thought that comes from a long way – the heart.
Books were and are my gold, which may well turn into dust one day. Yet, today, I will still spend my meager earnings on a book rather than on putting it into an Investment fund. Fool that I am, but pleasure and happiness overrides pragmatism.
So what’s it about Books and Footprints? Well, environmentalists are always saying save the trees for a better and breathable future, bring down the carbon footprints, so that we leave less of it behind. And so now we are provided with all kinds of gadgets on which we can read our books, digitally flip a page. The so called “Book Digitalists” spout the wonders of the new gadgets, how what you do with a book, so too you can get the same feel with the slim ereaders and what nots. But what we cannot do with a digital book/ebook, is – “dog ear” it (a dog eared book lets me know that someone stopped for a moment in time to get some other work done and if the put it down at the crucial and exciting moment makes me think- how could they? what could be so important?; pick a bookmark from an assortment of bookmarks & slip it between the pages, and, of course breathe in the book aroma that one can associate with old musty books! I have an assortment of booksmarks lying all over the house, and each has a small memory/story attached to it, some are old which have traveled with the book and they bring with it stories untold, small bits of lines or notes written on them. Books, specially the second hand ones, bring in those little notations made by the previous authors, names of the previous owners and places it has been. You can trace all that, and let your imagination fly along with the story of the book. But not so when you hold that slim new gadget in your hand with all the facilities provided. (of course I will not deny the fact that carrying a slim gadget which can hold about 50 books or more, can be so easily carried on a long journey rather than 4 fat juicy books for those long train journeys, that will jostle for space among the other vacation items one carries along- the only saving grace!).
Being aware that the number of books printed still leads to “n” number of trees cut down, and hence to stop buying books, will be like to stop breathing! However, you can salvage your conscience by – buying second hand books, recycle books among friends, and, join a neighbourhood library, donate some of your books to such a place, – these are some very good solutions that can help cut down carbon footprints and keep one’s conscience free, thus leaving behind a minimal trail behind on this lovely and beautiful planet earth! So let the technological gadgets and those online converters of book, have their own little niche of reducing carbon footprints. I will have mine in the nicest possible way, without losing out on the Smell of Books!!!