Friday, November 4, 2011

Osmosis

I am a bibliophile. In some circles, I suppose it might be more apt to say 'bookaholic', but I'm not an idiot. My collexion of books is so vast, that I have actually taken to building towers of new purchases atop my crammed bookshelves, awaiting their inevitable collapse upon the floor in a show of cracked spines, bruised covers, and smashed pages. I cannot seem to help but amass an amateur library in my already-cluttered bedroom. Usually it is under the auspices of promising myself that I will read the new addition with some ludicrous haste, deceiving myself as to the actual length of the serpentine queue coiling the empty or flat spaces. Or perhaps I am subconsciously trying to drown myself in a sea of paper.

I could wax on about the philosophical nature of my booklust ad infinitum, but I honestly don't care. My primary concern rests not with the quenching of my mania, but rather in the conquest of scriptora incognita (also, pretentiously riddling my writ with Latin phrases). Which brings me to the whole point of this post: people like me will easily procure a vast library of books only to realise that we cannot read them all, or are far too lethargic. However, what if there were a way? What if, by some freak accident at Burning Man, the gods of fire and dishevelment were finally appeased, and granted us the ability for Osmosis? Or, say, we lived in a far nerdier universe where Mountain Dew didn't rot your teeth out, Cheetos were equivalent to vegetables, and the Matrix existed (because, let's face it, all would would have to coincide for even one to fathom theory). Anyway, I propose the theory of osmosis in connexion to acquiring the knowledge of acquired books.

The main argument here will erupt in fiction vs non-fiction. Where non-fiction is meant for the strict absorption of facts, works of fiction are crafted in a way that the reader is entertained in the progressive unveiling of plot, etc. If the work is to be acquired by osmosis, then the the intricacies of crafting are jeopardised. To be honest, this can even extend to works of creative non-fiction, like the works or Ian Mortimer or GK Chesterton, that take the time to engage the reader on serious topics that would otherwise elicit a few hundred yawns. With the contraction or development of osmosis, the efforts of countless writers will be laid to waste, as reading in and of itself will be seen as a leisure activity at best, at worst the hobby of the bourgeois. Like the internet and recording media, pure information via osmosis will single-handedly take down the entire institution of the written word, which at the current time is going an evolution from the physical to the digital.

At some point, we will have to question the relevance of wordcraft itself in a world of instantaneous knowledge. It'll be relegated to the course position of hobby, drawn up in free time and passed to a group of select deniers of progress or enthusiasts.It may even become that prestige becomes tied to reading slower, so as to somehow gain more enjoyment from the work, like sipping aged brandy. Or possibly by whatever hipsters will be called in this parallel future.

So, in the rarest of chances that somebody ever asks, that is my opinion.


Post Scriptum:
You know what? Let's throw bookahol in there, too. It might as well exist in this new dimension of wild possibilities.
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