Attention, folks who like to read!
It now behooves us to take heed
Of a development ironic:
Reading has gone electronic.
Behold the Kindle. It's equipped
To show you electronic script.
A single device you can carry,
That summons up a whole library.
And now we have the iPad. Apple's
Wonder toy, that lets you grapple
With many a computer app,
And also shows text in a snap.
These gadgets let you read with ease,
And I suppose they're saving trees.
But I am just a backward schnook;
I must confess: I like a book.
A real book, I mean. The kind
That's made of paper, which they bind
Between two slabs of sturdy stuff.
(For paperbacks, thin stuff's enough.)
A solid thing, that neatly fits
Upon your lap, held in your mitts.
To turn the page, you wet a finger;
Unless on the same page you linger.
You stack them on your bedside table,
The novel, history, and fable,
Where you can reach for one with ease
Each time it whispers, "Read me, please."
And when you're done and reach "The End,"
And put it down, that faithful friend
Is still there by your side, in place,
Not vanished into cyberspace.
If it's a book that you abhor,
You're free to fling it on the floor
And kick that book that has offended.
(For Kindles, that's not recommended.)
Since books stay after they're perused,
There's one more way they can be used:
For books, en masse, play this encore:
Now they're interior décor.
Just clear some space upon your wall
With lots of shelving to install.
With books those shelves can then be lined.
And, boy, they make you look refined.
Fine etageres you might afford,
Or college students' bricks and board,
Or shelves assembled from Ikea;
Whichever. You get the idea.
These book-lined walls have far more class
That most of the artwork you'll amass:
Those calendars hung just for the hell of it,
Or paintings of Elvis on black vellovit.
When friends stop by your inner sanctum
They'll believe it's really swank. "Them
Books," they'll say, "are classy, buddy.
Looks like a professor's study."
Make sure that all your friends and lovers
Check out the titles on your covers,
So they'll exclaim, "He must be smart!
He's reading Proust and Jean-Paul Sartre!"
The beauty part is, there's no call
For you to really read them all.
Unread, they still put on a show;
Just dust them every week or so.
The crowning touch to grace your home
Is that big coffee-table tome,
Full of artistic color plates,
That says, "See, we're sophisticates."
With works by Van Gogh or Cezanne,
Or wood-block prints from old Japan,
Audubon's birds, Monet's flora,
Or "Scenic Views of Bora Bora."
So if it's culture you would tout,
Just leave that big book sitting out.
An iPad, though, left on that table
Won't do the same. It is not able.
It's Father's Day, and if your Dad
Received a Kindle or iPad
As gift from you, that is OK;
He's smarter than me, I daresay.
For techno-savvy folks, I'm sure,
They're blessed fonts of lit'rature.
I do not carp or rave or rant
Because I'm techno-ignorant.
For all you of the high-tech breed,
I wish you and your gear godspeed
As at your cyber-texts you look;
I'm doing fine. I've got a book.
Contact Tony at firstname.lastname@example.orgCopyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times