Ashok Silwal
Joking and more …

My work has led me to use online media more and more hours in front of the screen with the eyes that ‘burn’ and the vision that blurs.

The occasions when I take a book in hand are sadly almost rare if they are not those of my daughter and son for school. I regret it very much: I have loved and still love very much the smell of the pages, the manual contact with the paper, the possibility to write a few notes inside.

Personalizing your book, you bring it to life.

It is different and more difficult with the computers and the eBooks that remain as cold and anonymous as robots. And so, some reflections came to me,

Everyone, with their own books, has the right to do what they want.

There are those who treat them with absolute devotion and know how to guard against imperfection and who, on the other hand, fills the pages with signs, notes and underlining. (I admit, I am part of the second school !)

Then, at one pole, there are those who underline with pencil and ruler and, on the contrary, those with a pen and a highlighter, a bit like it is.

It happens that the former look at the latter with horror and that the latter consider the former obsessive.

What we choose to underline in a book, basically, tells what we want to be; the way in which we underline, on the other hand, says a lot about who we really are.

Then, when it happens to pick up books from the past with old underlining, at times it seems to be faced with an object capable of telling about us more than a diary. The notes in the margins are often real X-rays and it makes us tenderness to see what and how we had chosen to highlight. We feel embarrassed to observe what had escaped us.

Because sometimes, underlining is more intimate than writing, and certain lines are real confessions.

A separate thought, then, deserve the ‘dod-ears’ to the pages, capable of making many, jump on the chair, even more than the highlighters!
The fact is that for people like me making dog-ears to the books (to their own books and not those of others, mind you !) is a way to bring a book to life, to transform a paper puppet into a child who gains thickness with his new ears (in all senses!) Folding the corners of the pages is an almost carnal act and it is worth remembering that it is only practicable on paper. I do not recommend doing it with an eBook reader!

Some think that respect is exercised in leaving things as they are, while others are convinced that you can love something by allowing it to change. Just as some people like to intensify their body with tattoos and others are committed to keeping it intact.

In short, everyone has the right to do a bit as they please with or without ears, with or without underlining in the pages of a book using pencil or highlighter.

On my part, a bit/ much of nostalgia for the paper book of which I will never completely abandon the underlines and ears!

(नमस्कार ! नेपालनाम्चा तपाईंको मिडिया साथी हो । र, nepalnamcha@gmail.com मा परिचय, फोटोसहित मनका अनेक कुरा, सबै कुरा पठाउनुहोला ।)

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