Using One's Noodle

“Uncle Blogsy!”

“I’ve told you about shouting, young Bookhopper. This is a library.”

“You looked as if you were sleeping, Uncle Blogsy.”

“Just resting my eyes after the small print in these books, young one.”

“That’s a book of photographs of women who go nude spearfishing.”

“The trials of a bookmaster are many, young one. Such books must be collated to make sure no previous owner has torn out pages.”

“That’s why you’ve put in so many bookmarks, huh, Uncle Blogsy?”

“Did you have some purpose in entering this sanctum sanctorum other than to risk suicide, Bookhopper?”

“I’ve figured out why the e-reader is better than old-fashioned print books.”

“So your answer to my question is no, then.”

“Listen, Uncle Blogsy! The Nook and the Kindle and the Noodle are more versatile than a paper-and-ink book. You can play games on them and watch movies and read your email and….”

“So instead of finishing Moby Dick you can switch over and play a few rounds of the Hello Kitty version of Angry Birds.”

“You can go to National Geographic and watch documentaries on nude spear-fishing.”

“Don’t talk to me when I’m still trying to cope with that Hello Kitty thought. I don’t quite get your point, Bookhopper. A paper-and-ink book has plenty to offer as well. Reading the DaVinci Code, you can cast and shoot the movie in your head and probably do a better job than the camera-and-microphone filmmakers did.”

“That’s not the kind of movie I meant.”

“More’s the pity. If you happen to have a pen or pencil on you, you can play tic-tac-toe to your heart’s content. Or Battleship, if the endpapers are blank.”

“The games I mean….”

“And if you run out of margin space, you don’t have to buy more memory. If you had sense enough to bring a pencil you can just erase and start over.”

“You can’t look things up in Wikipedia.”

“Well, considering the number of books being issued these days which advertise that they have picked up all their information on Wikipedia, that’s only a matter of time. And there are paper-and-ink books called almanacs, dictionaries, and encyclopedias, where you CAN look things up.”

“But those books, since they take time to print, are out of print by the time you see them.”

“I Googled up a friend of mine who died four years ago and found where she’s giving a lecture on Sunday. I looked up the Newberry Book Fair and found press releases for 2011 posted on several websites. There’s plenty of good, solid obsolescence out there online.”

“But I can pack a hundred books at once in my e-Reader, Uncle Blogsy, not like your obsolete old…ai yi yi!”

“Ah, but when you push a hundred books over on someone it’s so much more satisfying than just dropping your Noodle on them. Meditate and ponder on that, Bookhopper. While you dig your way out.”

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