Preserved memories: On keeping a hand-written journal

Oh, the smell of fresh paper. The feel of the rough page beneath my hand. The sense of possibilities expanding before me, as I gathered together my thoughts, put pen to paper, and wrote.

Gone are those good old days of keeping a hand-written journal. Of carrying around a diary everywhere I went, so I was never stumped if inspiration struck, or if I saw a particularly good quote that I wanted to note down forever, or just wanted to ruminate.

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Gone are those days spent flicking through old journals. Looking at ticket stubs from that movie I went for on my first date. Of the restaurant bill from the last time I met up with my gang. The coffee spill that put so much more atmosphere into the story of me that I was writing.

All of that has been replaced with my iPhone. True, it’s much smaller and lighter than my diary. It’s with me everywhere I go. The chances of my forgetting it anywhere are slim. But it’s just not the same as my dear diary.

There are no pages to rifle through. No coffee spills to highlight passages of my life. No drunken scrawls that I cannot decipher the morning after. It’s too neat. Too structured. Too…cold.

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Maybe its time for me to go and buy myself a new diary. A leather-bound one this time, maybe. To doodle. To write. To keep for posterity. So that years later, when I am dust scattered over the earth, someone can come across it and say “Oh, so that’s what writing looked like in those ancient days!”

What do you think? Do you miss your hand-written diary? Or are you happy recording your thoughts digitally?

How a book lover gets enticed into buying an e-reader

“I saw the Amazon Kindle today, one of the parents was reading on it. It’s amazing! It looks just like a book! I want to gift you one provided you stop buying so many books.”

My husband called me up in the middle of the day to tell me this. He never calls me during the day. Never.

I was so stunned, all I could manage was a weak

“Umm…ok….can we talk about this in the evening?”

A Picture of a eBook

Image via Wikipedia

Now, as those of you who read this blog regularly (love you guys!) know, I love physical books. I enjoy browsing through a bookstore, picking up books, going through the back cover and then randomly reading a few pages before deciding to buy it. I have a bookshelf at home that is groaning under the weight of filled with books I’ve stuffed into it. And now, I am getting a new, bigger, fancier bookshelf built to hold my books and some doo-dads.

The husband, though, just wants the compulsive book buying to stop. Thus, the offer for the Kindle in exchange for no fewer books entering the house. And a tempting offer it is. I have been reading e-books on and off on the tiny screen of my iPhone. If I can read on that, an e-reader would be a breeze. But which one to choose?

Kindle, the dedicated e-reader or the cool kid on the block – the iPad? Much research later, I listed the pros and cons of each.

Cover of "Kindle Wireless Reading Device,...

Cover via Amazon

The Kindle’s e-ink technology makes it a strain-free way to read for hours; you can read it in direct sunlight but not in the dark; and the experimental browser allows you to connect to text-only sites on the internet (Wikipedia and Google) in black and white. However, it supports its own file format and transferring pdfs and epubs is painful (for me at least).

iPad Display Item

Image via Wikipedia

The iPad gives you the option of accessing e-books through iBooks, Kindle, Nook and many more apps; and it gives you a whole multimedia experience as well, allowing you to do a lot, lot more with it than just read. On the flip side, the brighter screen can be impossible to read in direct sunlight (not quite true, since I can bump up the brightness on my iPhone and read very clearly even in direct sunlight, thank you very much) and the battery life is lower compared to the Kindle.

Of course, there are the issues of weight and technical wizardry – and this is more of an apples to oranges comparison – but if you have the money to spare, the iPad definitely gives you more bang for your buck.

Plus, since I’m really not going to completely stop buying books ever, I may as well go for the other bells and whistles too, right? Which makes me lean (heavily) towards the iPad. Now, to con convince the husband to fork over the extra cash!