Books or Kindle, Eye or Ear?


The prompt word today was controversy. Are Kindle and Audible a blessing or a curse?  Will libraries and bookstores become a thing of the past, vanished like scrolls and slates and blackboards?  Will technology continue to wed the concrete and the abstract until there is no difference?  In looking for one of my photographic images to accompany this prompt, I found this poem written two years ago and decided to reblog myself!


 The fresh bookstore smell of them,
bending the pages to crack the spine,
notes scribbled in the margins,
hearts with initials on the flyleaf,
something to loan or to wrap for a gift,
something propped up on the bathtub edge,
it’s paper sprinkled with drops–
pages wrinkled into a Braille memory–
that rainstorm run through,
how he put it in his back pocket.

Poetry touched by fingers.
Single words met by lips.
Words pored over by candlelight or flashlight
in a sleeping bag or in a hut with no electricity.
Books pushed into backpacks
and under table legs for leveling.

Paper that soaked up
the oil from fingers
of the reader
consuming popcorn
or chocolate chip cookies
in lieu of the romance on the pages–
finger food served with brain food.
Passions wrapped in paper and ink–
the allure of a book and the tactile comfort.
The soul of a book you could touch, fold, bend.

Books are the gravestones of trees
but also the journals of our hearts.
Cities of words,
boards and bricks of letters,
insulated by hard covers or the curling skins
of paperbacks.
Something solid to transfer the dreams
of one person to another in a concrete telepathy
of fingers and eyes.
Books are the roads we build between us,
solid and substantial–
their paper the roadbed,
the words the center lines directing us.

What will fill the bookcases of a modern world?
Google replacing dictionaries,
Wikipedia already an invisible bank of Encyclopaedia Britannicas.
What will we use our boards and bricks for,
if not to hold up whole tenements of books?
How will we furnish our walls?
What will boys carry to school for girls?
What will we balance on heads
to practice walking with perfect posture?
What will we throw in the direction of the horrible pun?

Will there be graveyards for books, or cities built of them?
Quaint materials for easy chairs or headboards for beds?
Will we hollow them out for cigar boxes
or grind them up for packing material?
Where do books belong in the era of Kindle and Audible?
These dinosaurs that soon will not produce more eggs.
Perhaps they’ll grow as precious as antiques.
Perhaps the grandchildren of our grandchildren
will ponder how to open them. Will wonder at their quaintness,
collecting them like mustache cups or carnival glass,
wondering about the use of them–as unfathomable as hieroglyphics.
That last book closing its pages–one more obsolete mystery
fueling the curiosity of a bygone era that has vanished
into a wireless universe.



18 thoughts on “Books or Kindle, Eye or Ear?

  1. Marilyn Armstrong

    I passionately love my books, but aside from the occasional special book by a very special author, I read on the Kindle. Why? Because the Kindle weighs almost nothing — and it has a light. In the dark of night, my Kindle shines. I have many books. Thousands of books. But I read on the Kindle.


  2. Relax...

    I have never read an e-book. I believe authors picture us holding their ink-and-paper children, or their dreams, gently. And near food, sometimes, yes, and the beach. 🙂 Such an in-depth look at it all, you helped me decide how I really feel. I would no doubt love an electronic reader, but I won’t get one.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. lifelessons Post author

      My sister game me a Kindle and when I dropped it in my pool, yet another. I love it to listen to books while doing other things but I’ve still never read a book on it and really don’t know how to.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Relax...

        🙂 I’ve never listened to a book, but I am rather tempted, I must say! I know I’d have gone for that years ago, but perhaps not now. Well, now that I no longer multi-task, lol. I’m turning into a dinosaur, aren’t I?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Relax...

        Omigosh, what a wonderful idea! Thank you! I marveled to my husband the night before about how I spend every work night mostly not praying nor even thinking — just 4 to 6 hours of moving duh. I’m no longer into music and I don’t listen to talk radio, but an audio book? Yes! That would SO work at my job!!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. lifelessons Post author

        You can subscribe for not very much and you get 3 books a montn. They have a free trial. Listen to the sample first as it is important to get a reader who doesn’t irritate you. Most of them are wonderful. I believe Barbara Kingsolver narrates her own books which are great, as was “The Help.”

        Liked by 1 person

      4. lifelessons Post author

        If you can, get an ipod or another little device you can put in your pocket. Put the books on them. A Kindle is too big, unless you are working alone and can just set it on a table. With a pocket device you can carry it with you from room to room without having to wrestle with anything.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Relax...

        It would definitely have to be a pocket device… I’ll have to see what I can scare up. (My tablet has a reader on it, but the screen is 10″ — I’d need Captain Kangaroo pockets, lol.)

        Liked by 1 person

  3. sandmanjazz

    I very much believe that books will never go out of fashion and I am proud to say that my home has shelves adorned with good old fashioned books. The only time I might considered using an e-book is on holiday with long haul flights purely for hand luggage reasons, my last trip abroad- to Cuba a lot of my hand luggage was filled with books.

    Audible, well I love stories and I have many audio books which I listen to in the car and it also helps create a shared experience of a book which you might not otherwise get from reading.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. lifelessons Post author

      Sandman, I love Audible books. I listen to them while driving, cooking, working in the studio and while falling asleep. I have so little time to read books that I would read very little if it weren’t for audible!

      Liked by 1 person


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