• Welcome, visitor! Litopia is the oldest & friendliest community for writers on the net. If you are serious about your writing, we cordially invite you to join us.

If I had a Magic Wand

#1
I'm not channeling Harry Potter here, and maybe the mushrooms I had in my omelette last night were more magic than I realised, but I woke this morning wondering what I'd change about the world of books.

Personal ambition aside, if I could induce a Utopian situation by waggling my Benevolent Rod of Transformation around, I'd give everyone a book to read, instead of having them gawping at smartphones. Just imagine, if everyone in this photograph were concentrating on the world within a book, instead of avoiding one another by hiding behind the shield of technology:



For all I know, some of them may be reading ebooks, but surely book readers talk to one another more than phone zombies? "Good book?" is a common question. No one's ever asked "Good phone?"

How would you use your Magic Wand?
 

Amber

Benefactor
#4
Okay, so in your hypothetical situation, everyone on this train is holding a book. Sometimes one or more of them looks across the aisle and says, "Good book?" It sounds like an invitation to get punched.

It would be really creepy to see a commuter train of people all doing the same thing, all reading a book. Very dystopic. One would have to ask, who robbed them of their free will? Because the odds that they would all want to be doing the same thing, they would all want to be reading, is minuscule.

The photo up above shows people all using the same means to do a variety of things. So, not dystopic.

Tell me the truth... in this Utopia are the commuters holding your book? You can tell me. We're all entitled to our fantasies.

I wouldn't change a thing if I had a magic wand. There are things worth changing and I'm almost 100% sure I'd run the world better than whoever is running this chaos experiment now. But besides free will, I would surely fuck up my godhood.

But in a very real, and corny sense, we all have a magic wand. Just click your heels three times. Or whatever.
 

Amber

Benefactor
#6
I like to look at nothing in particular sometimes. And let my mind go a blackberrying. So does everyone don't they. It does us good and things arise in empty spaces because they're not actually empty. So I'm not up for changing the world, just rubbish removal so that we are less of a plague, though I'd like to wish a book to a child wishing in vain for a book.
Yeah.... those things would be cool.

I like that way of saying daydreaming... blackberrying.
 
#9
if I could induce a Utopian situation by waggling my Benevolent Rod of Transformation around, I'd give everyone a book to read, instead of having them gawping at smartphones. Just imagine, if everyone in this photograph were concentrating on the world within a book, instead of avoiding one another by hiding behind the shield of technology
Ah, but they believe they are communicating with each other... whereas with books a reader is being sucked into the author's private space. Reading a good book - even non-fiction - isolates you from the outside world, if the author has done the job right. Readers choose to be isolated. Fans of socila media have no idea that's what's happening.
 
#10
Clearly he's taken you out to dinner before...
I'd never accept an invitation to dine. He doesn't like mankind, but it's a nasty little trick he has, he learned from St Michael. I have a sister who's a corporate lawyer though, and she says she would like to invite HIM for coffee, because she'd like to hear his side of the story. Fair enough, sis, just don't let him bring the biscuits.
 
#11
I'd never accept an invitation to dine. He doesn't like mankind, but it's a nasty little trick he has, he learned from St Michael. I have a sister who's a corporate lawyer though, and she says she would like to invite HIM for coffee, because she'd like to hear his side of the story. Fair enough, sis, just don't let him bring the biscuits.
A lawyer? They'd probably get on very well...;)
 

Amber

Benefactor
#14
Ah, but they believe they are communicating with each other... whereas with books a reader is being sucked into the author's private space. Reading a good book - even non-fiction - isolates you from the outside world, if the author has done the job right. Readers choose to be isolated. Fans of socila media have no idea that's what's happening.
This is a good point. Well, now that I think about it, they don't realize it's happening until it's too late .. often....

Um. It might soon be fair to say that we do know it isolates people... maybe not yet.

But also, it happens over time. Not the first time you use it.

You're very right ... there is a certain truth in advertising to a book as opposed to social media.
 
#20
I'd magic away some rubbish and clean up the rivers and the seas.
3 years ago my daughter started a charity which cleans up the two rivers in our town. She proved that any one motivated enough can make a difference. Our river banks are cleaner than ever before. So invite a few friends, put on some gloves and go pick up some trash. The volunteers have fun and make new friends. Nothing magic about it. Just "Think Global, Act Local"! But that has nothing to do with books... Nearly 30 years ago I worked as an interpreter in Italy for an environmental exchange programme. Our Italian hosts were horrified when the English exchange students sat at the table at meal times (before the food appeared) and every single one of them was reading a book and ignoring each other. How times change, heh? As for smart phones, I don't have one. Never have. Between the 4 of us in the family, only my son has one. Hubby and I share an old second hand phone, which we constantly forget either to bring with us, to turn on, or to charge the battery - rendering it useless. I have NEVER regretted not having a phone. I don't have a GPS either, but I have a map collection I'm very fond of. :) Sorry if I sound smug.
 
Top