Hello dear readers and happy Wednesday. It’s time for another Writer’s Quote Wednesday, a weekly event hosted by Colleen at Silver Threading where bloggers share their favorite quotes to help motivate and inspire each other to keep writing and working toward our goals. My contribution for the week is from American novelist Ray Bradbury.
Raymond Douglas “Ray” Bradbury was born August 22, 1920, Waukegan, Illinois. His mother was a Swedish immigrant, his father, a power and telephone lineman. Fun fact: He was descended from Mary Bradbury, who was tried at one of the Salem witch trials in 1692.
Bradbury was an avid reader and writer as a child. He began writing his own stories at the age of seven. This was during the time of the Great Depression so sometimes Bradbury had to write on butcher paper.
He graduated from a Los Angeles high school in 1938 and although his formal education ended there, he became a “student of life”. He sold newspapers on L.A. street corners, spent his nights in the public library, and his days at the typewriter. He became a full-time writer in 1943.
He is best known for his dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451, published in 1953, and for the science fiction and horror stories gathered together as The Martian Chronicles, published in 1950. In all, Bradbury has published more than thirty books, close to 600 short stories, and numerous poems, essays, and plays. His short stories have appeared in more than 1,000 school curriculum “recommended reading” anthologies. He was one of the most celebrated American writers and his reputation is that of courage and vision.
Bradbury died in Los Angeles, California, on June 5, 2012, at the age of 91, after a lengthy illness.
“I still love books. Nothing a computer can do can compare to a book. You can’t really put a book on the Internet. Three companies have offered to put books by me on the Net, and I said, ‘If you can make something that has a nice jacket, nice paper with that nice smell, then we’ll talk.’ All the computer can give you is a manuscript. People don’t want to read manuscripts. They want to read books. Books smell good. They look good. You can press it to your bosom. You can carry it in your pocket.”
// Ray Bradbury
If you have been following along this year you might have noticed I keep mentioning how much I am reading and how proud I am of myself for keeping up with my Goodreads reading challenge. I have a goal of reading 30 books by December 31st ad I am already three, almost four, books in. This might not seem like a big deal but considering I failed the same goal miserably last year this is a big accomplishment, so far.
I honestly believe that the reason I failed so miserably last year was because I tried to read all of my books on my iPad through the iBooks app. I thought it would be so great, I would have all my books in one place and so many of them I could get for cheap, sometimes even free! No more bent up pages, no more heavy bags, no more scouring bookstore shelves hoping to find the book I want, and in the edition that I want. It was all going to be better now, right? No!
I had so many books I couldn’t help reading more than one at a time, and just like any part of our lives, multitasking usually means nothing at all gets done in the end. I read approximately 30% of five different books. Which meant nothing for my reading goal. I found I missed bending my pages, I missed the feel of the pages, I couldn’t retain what I was reading, and I couldn’t find a display setting that didn’t strain my eyes. I hated it but it took me awhile to realize I hated it.
It wasn’t until last November when I picked up an actual, real life book and I couldn’t put it back down. I liked the way the pages felt. I liked the smell too. I liked choosing a bookmark and carrying it around wherever I went like a little security blanket. I hadn’t looked at my iBooks app since then, but as I am working my way through the physical books I have I thought I might try again to read just one book on the iPad again.
I don’t foresee it going well.
I don’t know what it is about books and the paper they are made of that allows them to transport you to other worlds while the bright screens of tablets and readers deny us access. These screens have their purpose but I don’t think they will ever make us feel the way books do. The warm pages make us feel safe and warm, we know they will never leave us. The screens are cold and temporary, and can never love us back.
Original image via Porsche Brosseau
Biographical information via my last Writer’s Quote Wednesday post on Ray Bradbury :)