Brace yourself! You are familiar with cashless shopping, e-cards, e-wallets and credit cards – those shiny 2″ x 3″ plastic cards which come in different colors and designs, which could buy you a sumptuous lunch or dinner in a fancy restaurant, a four-day quick trip to Hong Kong or a nice European tour depending of course on how much your limit is. In the banking industry, a client or customer is always valued on the manner in which he handles his finances. Your credit history would speak on how trustworthy you are. The longer you have it would somehow give weight when you are applying for a personal loan or want to secure mortgages on your house or other personal properties. There are still people who prefer cash in their transactions, an old-fashioned and somehow not a safe way to transact business considering the times we are in right now. I remember that before I left Bank of PI nine years ago, I enrolled our utilities online, now I could pay anytime, so convenient really.
It seems that the world is rapidly being catapulted to a paperless society. I am talking here of the new gadgets like the Sony eReader, the Plastic Logic eReader and of course Amazon’s version called Kindle. It’s lightweight at 10.2 ounces and thinner than most magazines, it’s just over 1/3 of an inch. Do you believe that it can store as much as 1,500 titles and can download newspapers through its 3G wireless system in a blink of an eye? There is even the new text-to-speech feature, it can load any newspaper, magazines, blogs and book out loud to you. Voracious readers like me might be overjoyed by this new technology.
Is the allure of reading gone to the dogs? And they say that books now belong to the 20th century, at the back shelf. Okay, okay, I’ve tried downloading e-books on the net and saving them to my document files. It’s as easy as one-two-three but the thing is, you still need to sit in front of the computer to read it. Having this new gadget is like having the latest I-phone or Blackberry. If you are an environment conscious individual, you would love to have this instead of the heavy books you have to bring along in your sturdy backpack. How many trees do they have to cut to compile a thousand page paperback or to make those glossy coffee-table books which we love?
There is something so wonderful in hugging a newly bought book, smelling its pages and anticipating when to start reading it. There is a sense of wonder, at least for me, to look at the cover of a paperback and turn the pages ever so lovingly while at the same time enjoying a good story. You can curl up anywhere you want provided you feel comfortable enough with it. I enjoy reading the morning papers in the garden and having a night read at the privacy of the bedroom.
Paper or plastic? Give me a book anytime. It may take a while before I could adapt myself to this new revolution. I may not be able to afford it anyway.