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by Beanie Baby 

Posted: 20 August 2009
Word Count: 136
Summary: I for one am becoming increasingly concerned about all the publicitu electronic reading gadgets are getting. It is a complete OUTRAGE!!! Anyway, this (wonderfully spontaneous) poem came to me yesterday, got tweaked at 7 o' clock this morning and is now here for everyonne to see. Please print it off and put it up in your window, or send it to your local book shop (I have ten copies I am sending off today) because if we writers can't stop this scandal, nothing will!!!!!

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Jilly Henderson-Long

We must not lose the humble book
No matter what they say
I DO NOT want to carry
Nasty e-books everyday.
I WANT to properly turn the page
With finger and with thumb,
Not twiddle button, switch or
Knob once reading has begun.
I DO NOT like the scary thought
Of book shops gone to pot.
Or libraries slamming shut their doors
And sealing with a lock.
Nothing will replace the smell
Of new unopened tomes
Nor the thrill of seeing our
Collections fill our homes.
WE MUST protect the precious book
Its history is unique
It entertains, it educates
It stimulates, it speaks.
Iím all for progress marching on
But Progress is a crook
If evolution means we have


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Comments by other Members

itcametomeinadream at 16:21 on 27 August 2009  Report this post
I like the poem, although I'm not sure I can wholly agree with the sentiment. I much prefer paper and ink as a personal choice, but unless the medium is the message, then it can only be a good thing to try to potentially reach people who (the numbers seem to suggest) are not buying books in anything like the numbers, diversity or range they used to.

Printing things on paper is a costly enterprise in many ways - both environmental and financial. To my mind, this is a severe restriction on what - and who - can reasonably be published, favouring mass-market literature.

Perhaps I'm hoping that additional ways to read will encourage reading, and if that requires less elegant and, to some, distasteful mediums, then that's a price I would be willing pay.

Sorry this wasn't a literary-focussed comment!

Alan Summers at 19:04 on 31 August 2009  Report this post
I'd have to agree with the comments from the person with a very long name, thank goodness I'm just Alan. ;-)

As a haiku writer I'm used to modern ways of incorporating this art form, as haiku is a very modern type of poetry, having been born into the 20th century when the Industrial (and now Technology) Revolution was under way.

I don't know a writer who doesn't love books, I can hardly get round my flat for books, but environmental methods, as well as practical travelling methods, are to be admired. I have nearly done my back in bringing a ton of books with me and would rather have an electronic coat that doubles up as a computer! ;-)


Beanie Baby at 13:02 on 15 September 2009  Report this post
Thank you both for your feedback; looks as if I have opened a can of worms here.

As an environmental writer myself, I too worry about the amount of paper required to produce a single book, but there are ways round this now with recycling and re-forestisation and I think I wrote the poem in a panic at the thought of future generations never knowing the experience of reading a proper book, pages, cover, binding and all. I know technology is marching on but in my own defence, I have to ask is replacing paper with more batteries, electrical components and microchips, not to mention the drain on energy if everyone starts to use them, really the way forward? True, such gadgetry can also be recycled but they will never ever be replaced by more trees!

Anyway, that is enough of that. We are all entitled to our opinions - I just happen to voice mine through poetry and I am very grateful to you both for taking the time to read this and respond.

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