TACTILE TOTS          - 27/3/2012      <--Prev : Next-->

I fear for the tactile ability of my grandchildren !! (Not that I have any but I bought a tee shirt the other days saying "World's Best Grandma"! )

Just pause for a moment and think about the problems our children will be facing in the next generations, they will probably never know the reassuring feel of a book, the delightful smell of the the pages, the pure joy of reading the back cover!!

They will never be able to turn secretly to the back page just to see the ending, and they will probably not even know how to turn a page. Instead they will be reading on their computers, their kindles and their i pads, if at all !!

They will not know the thrill of possessing one's own monogrammed stationery, embossed beautifully with the words in gold script "From the desk of Maggie!"

They will never walk into a book store and browse amongst the sheaves of writing stationery, in blues or mushrooms or pure white manilla. Will they know what a ream is, or know the thrilling feel of rice paper, onion paper, embossed paper, glossy or matt ?

Aaaah the delights of browsing through a library, walking up and down drawing in the musty smell of old manuscripts, parchment and leather covered tomes.

Remember those days of school projects, when one would peruse dozens of encyclopedias, at home or in the public library, and laboriously hand copy the data into your text book, all the while changing it in order not to plagiarize !!

And then even drawing the pictures by hand and colouring them in with your fabulous set of 64 Staedtler crayons all colour coded in a majestic box ?

Oh no, not these days, a quick google and the world lies before you miraculously in a brief second. Cut and paste text and graphics and your project is complete !! I have not taken a reference book from our library in years now, and even my cherished collection of cookery books (and recipes from Aunty Mabel,) lie untouched. Its far easier to google "gazpacho", print out the recipe in large font, or just read it straight from the computer (if you are confident in your ability to keep the tomato pips from splashing on the screen !!)

Indeed I am the first to admit there are definite plusses in electronic reading, the greatest of which is being able to magnify the font exactly as your eyes require, and turning over a page takes a simple click of the finger instead of a nimble flip of a page.

Another plus is the fact that our eyes will not take such a beating but there again - science has proven that staring at bright screens is not good for the eyes.

Will they even know the joys of writing, or will they only use a keyboard?

What will happen to those beautiful and ancient arts like calligraphy, copperplate and even simple joining writing?