Writing a blog about paper seems ironic.
Paper was doing such a great job and then computers turned up and stole it’s thunder. Not withstanding all of it’s restrictions, I like paper. Books feel good in your hand and you don’t get sore eyes from looking at a screen. A book’s battery never runs out and I like the way my shelves look when they’re filled with books. I hold a deep affection for books as they were my first portal into literature and language. I love being in libraries. I love the smell you get from the pages of vintage books, I love finding little penned scribbles that people may have made as notes in the margins years before when they were reading the same book that I am reading now. All of these qualities are lost once you buy a Kindle.
I still like to write too. Pen is fine but everyone should try writing with a pencil. The sound it makes as it scratches across the paper and the way the writing looks in graphite grey as the pencil, literally, disintegrates onto your page. It also has a slightly childish feel that harks back to my primary school days before we were promoted up to ink cartridge pens and then onwards into the world of the Biro.
When you write with a computer a lot is lost. The individuality of the author’s handwriting, the odd scribbley correction, maybe half a coffee cup ring on the edge of the page. All of these things make you feel a direct connection to the person who wrote whatever it is that you’re reading. Like you’re holding history. Think of being handed the original piece of paper that your favourite band wrote the first draft of your favourite song on. Computers are much more clinical. Yes you get tidy formatted text that is all neatly laid out, evenly spaced and easy to read. Yes you get a spell checker so your mistakes are picked up. Yes, when you make a mistake you can just click back space a few times and correct it and the big one is, yes, you can publish your work online so thousands of other like-minded individuals can read it but so much of the personal feelings you get from older methods are lost.
I like paper.