Books, the New Invention by Ian Novak

I hold this new thing in my hand. It is thick, heavy, and totally unsymmetrical unlike my mi-phone. I look at the cover and read Harry Potter, the Sorcerer’s Stone. I know from Siri that a sorcerer is one who can control magic, and since I think that magic is just the coolest thing ever I decided to “check out” this new book.

I flip the cover open and look at the title page. There are so many words that I do not understand. There are too many words. Too many! I can’t handle it! I slam it shut and throw it across the room.

Books, the new things that are all the rage. One year ago a book was shown to the inventor’s council and they thought it was a fantastic new object and the people took to it immediately. Everyone wants one or even a couple of these new things called books and I hate them. The people who use them do not communicate with anyone else when reading and it’s as if they could never speak at all. They are not interactive and are making people unsociable.

As for me, I prefer to stick to the old ways and use my good ol’ touchscreen for entertainment. The touchscreens are sociable and have the ability to let people connect with one another even though they may be hundreds of miles across the globe. Tablets and phones are good, unlike these new, horrible books.

“Delah!” a friend named Kelly rushes out of the school towards me, “I just finished off one of the best books ever! It was called Swiss Family Robinson and it was filled with adventure, heroics, and abandonment! It really made me think about how lucky we are here in New Billings. We don’t have to plant trees or potatoes for food, we can just…”

“Great,” I reply, “I just got a new app on my phone called Movie Player! Whole movies played for free! Imagine that!

“Oh, come off it Dee.” She says “why don’t you just try to read one. One teensy tiny picture book even?”

“No! You wouldn’t understand what they are doing to you… they are taking the time that you have away from me.”

“We still play Dee, just not as much as before. Books are amazing things and can take you to whole new worlds!”

“Aughhhh!” I storm off into a corner of the playground with my mi-phone held against my chest. I start sobbing. I had never sobbed. I don’t sob. Not me.

“Is everything ok Delah?” my phone asks, “Do you have an infection?”

“No, I’m ok. It’s just…”

“What?”

“It’s just… just these book things! They’re just horrible!”

At that moment in time, as I was holding my beloved mi-phone, the worst thing possible happened. A soccer ball kicked out of bounds of a soccer game came and knocked my phone through the bars of the gate and into the busy street. I watched as my phone was crushed and I could hear the final words of my only robotic friend saying over and over again “It’s… ok… it’…s… o… k…..” What was I going to do in this new world of books without my mi-phone.

I started to panic. My mi-phone had been a crucial point in my life until now. Now it is just a couple if scattered shards across the road. I keep going through thoughts in my head, what am I going to do now? What am I going to do without my mi-phone?

“Are you ok there Dee?” A boy from the soccer game said as he rushed over to get the phone-killing soccer ball.

“Am I ok? OK? I AM MOST CERTAINLY NOT OK! MY PHONE HAS JUST BEEN CRUSHED AND YOU ASK IF I’M OK?”

“Oh, I’m so sorry Dee. You know, you could always try reading a book now that you have no phone to play on. They’re actually pretty cool.” I looked up at him with a look of betrayal. “No, ok, just a suggestion. I need to get back to my soccer game. Good luck!”

He dribbled his ball back to the game and I continued to look on even though he wasn’t there anymore. My mind went blank. I couldn’t even think about what I was going to do. I just sat there. Alone. Without my mi-phone.

 

The next day I trundled the whole way to school, thinking of what would happen to me without my mi-phone. I bumped into Kelly, a book loving friend, and apologized “Kelly, oh, hi! How’s it goin’ today?”

“OK I suppose. But I wanted to say sorry for trying to force you to read a book. I know you are attached to your phone, all of us are, but books can hold just as much information, excitement, and imagination as one of your apps can. Please, Dee, can I at least read you a book, even if you don’t read it yourself?”

“Books! Why can’t we talk about anything besides those things? Maybe, who won the last soccer world cup. Who did win the world cup?”

“I’m not sure, but it looks like we’ve reached school. See you at 3:30!” she said and she rushed off to catch her first class.

I climbed the old stone steps and through the damp hallways. I put my backpack in my locker, walked into class and into a seat at the very back of the class. Since all my notes were on my mi-phone I would have to write them with a pencil. It’s still really hard for me to do that.

“Hello class!” my teacher, an old woman with curly grey hair says “Welcome back to english class! Today I have a new project concerning these new book things.” My face blanches. “Today I am assigning each person a report on plot of a certain book. I believe it is called a Book Report! Yes! A Book Report.”

I look down at my feet and a horrible feeling starts to flow through my veins. I will have to read a book. Read a book, not an online book, a real, unsymmetrical, rough, horrible book. The rest of class goes by in a blur and only the robotic clock beeping releases me from my spell.

After school I talk to my friend Kelly, the book lover, and ask her to get a book she thinks I will really enjoy.

Two hours later I am greeted by a knock at my door and book in my mail slot. I look at the title and realize that it is the first book I ever held in my hand, Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone.

“Ok, Dee. You’ve got this.” I rush to the refrigerator to grab a bottle of juice, preparing for this big act. I breath deep. “OK, now just open the book.” The cover opens and my eyes are again greeted with the army of words, attacking my mind with their number. “You’ve got this. Don’t close it. No. NO!” my hand itches to close the cover, as if my unconscious brain is trying to stop the hoard of words. “Now, just start reading.”

I read the first chapter and look up in surprise. It is a good book and I start to smile. I am getting the story and it doesn’t hurt anymore. I look back down to my book and stay up deep into the night, finishing the story.