In today’s world of mobile devices and e-books, it can be easy to be wowed by all things new and to lose sight of the unique benefits of a technology that has been in place since the invention of the printing press in the 1400s. Yes, I’m talking about the book.
A book has heft. You can take it anywhere. It never runs out of batteries. Pages load instantly. You never need to give it a re-boot. A book slows time down. Just by opening its covers, you start to pay attention.
But perhaps the greatest advantages of all are that a book is both self-paced and expandable. It grows with imagination. Let me explain. Consider one of the best uses of a book, which is telling stories to children.
Now think of what might happen if the stories being read were the personal stories of your family. The starting point of any good story is for the reader to identify with the characters. Even when we don’t fit perfectly within the thing called our family, we do identify with its members and we do identify with their stories. That is because family stories are our most valuable inheritance. When you share these stories with the next generation of children, you start a conversation. A sentence or photo provokes questions.
Because the book is self-paced, you can stop reading and talk. Because the book is expandable, you can add to the words on the page. It’s impossible to include all of your family stories in a single book. After all, we’re talking about lifetimes. This is okay. All you really need to do is start a conversation and conversations are what a book does best.