The Page a Day Writers Group

Calling Griffin and Sabine

Posted on: June 29, 2010

Have you mourned a lost, lent or mislaid book? I’m mourning now. It makes no sense- I could order new copies of these books and have them in my greedy little hands in a couple of days. Or I could go to the bookstore and find them today. But there’s something about the actual book I read during that phase of life. The books saw me through particular epochs and challenges. They witnessed my eyes searching for meaning, my hands tenderly or impatiently turning the pages, moving through time together, the books and me.

 All of this is changing now with the advent of e-books, and I admit I’m ambivalent about the revolution. I’m a participant in it, but I still have mixed feelings. I have yet to read an e-book to completion on my iPod. I’ve started several, but the physical world of paper books still holds more charisma for me, and so I put the glittering little black box down and grab a thick volume from a real bookshelf.

 Maybe someday I’ll let go of my attachment to turning paper pages. But I love bookstores and libraries. I’m mourning my old copies of Griffin and Sabine- An Extraordinary Correspondence, a trilogy by Nick Bantock .

The trilogy is a series of epistolary novels- novels comprised of letters and postcards. So, this series captures the beauty of paper correspondence- snail mail!- nestled within stunning paper books. I read Griffin and Sabine, Sabine’s Notebook, and The Golden Mean during a time in my life when I wrote letters almost every day. A day without writing a letter felt strange back then. Perhaps I’m also mourning handwritten letters. Who is stopping me from writing letters- paper letters- to friends and family? No one. My letter recipients would probably be amused and assume I was experiencing a nostalgic hiccup. Email is so easy and fast, though. The digital revolution saves trees, too.

 But do you remember the feeling of opening a letter- the element of surprise in tearing open the paper envelope? Maybe the handwriting was kind of hard to read in spots so you’d have to peer at the paper for a few seconds to decipher. Not like the uniform font greeting you here. No mystery, no curlicues or slanty, moody words. Sure, we can play with fonts to our hearts’ content. Woopee. Whine, whine, whine. I do like email. I’m just feeling a pang as the world leaves paper behind. It’s happening and the trees are sighing with relief. Listen- you don’t hear the rustle of pages as often. I still love that sweet music.

Having embraced my grief, I’m moving on now. I’m off to find new copies of my waylaid touchstones. I’m delighted to discover that Bantock has, in the meantime- years ago, already- completed The Morning Star Trilogy, continuing the saga, including The Gryphon, Alexandria, and The Morning Star.

Will I choose e-books or paper pages? One guess!

Ondine Brooks Kuraoka


2 Responses to "Calling Griffin and Sabine"

I was gifted an e-reader and I bought a cover for it so it looks like a book. I still can’t bring myself to download anything to it. I too, like you, love the feel of the pages in my hands, the heft of the book and the comfort of ink on paper. Maybe in time I’ll change, but for now, I wander library aisles and book stores, choosing my treasures by hand, not electronically.

I feel you Ondine! I LOVE books – even if they are spilling over on the bookshelves! I’m trying to keep up with technology…and embrace it, but reading a book on a computer, i-phone, i-pad or what have you, will take some getting use to!

And don’t even get me started on loaning books. I now have a system (especially for my favorite books). I give people 30 days to read it – then return it. My thing is, if they haven’t read it within that time frame, then they probably won’t read it. It’s a shame you have to do that, but I don’t want to have to re-purchase a book just because someone else didn’t feel a need to return it or has mistreated it!

As for emailing, texting, and all of that other stuff…I’m concern that soon there won’t be any more face to face conversations…

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Who are we?

The Page a Day Writers Group is a diverse collection of wonderful writers based in San Diego, CA. We've been meeting monthly since 2004. Our primary function is in-depth writing critique, marketing and brainstorming, but there's usually some wine, chocolate and ribaldry involved too. We write fantasy, humor, literary fiction, nonfiction, romance, thrillers and YA. Join us on our journeys to publication and the wonderland beyond!


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