I pick up The Sunday New York Times every three weeks or so. I grab it from a nearby convenience store that used to charge me for the local Sunday edition. I always blamed the lack of training to assuage my brief guilt at getting away with the price difference. Always ready to pay the full freight, but equally willing to snag a bleary-eyed teenage bargain.
This past week I bought a copy and promptly scanned it, moving quickly to my modus operandi of neglecting the pile of unread pages for two days. Today I scanned the pile, preparing to take only the pages I wanted on a short road trip. Ink stained my fingers as I seperated wheat from chaff, and I began to wonder-
I think about ink, that tactile wonder of information. I collect typewriters, so I certainly have a crush on the substance. Often we focus on the substrate (paper) but really, it’s the ink itself that communicates. Newspaper ink might be an annoyance on the fingertips as an end user, but it reminds me of all the work that goes into creating a story, headline or gossip column. That tactile bond is missing in the digital world.
Online, I no longer shower off the words; I simply click on. Rumination is becoming a thing of the past. Elbowed out of the mind frame, the next U-Toob blathering is there to displace any silent reflection I might contemplate over what I have read.
I don’t care much for inky fingertips but I have to say – when the caliber of knowledgeable writing dwindles down to abrupt tweets and chirps – give me ink. All day, any day. ~TH~