Sunday, January 18, 2015
Books, the Internet, and Distance
We live at a million ticks a minute. We eat breakfast, our coffee still steaming, we wave goodbye to our loved ones, and we’re on the subway, or lost in the crowd, on our way into the world of obligations.
Then meetings, e-mails, presentations, clients. But didn’t I empty my inbox before I went home? And as you’re buried under the pile of new messages, the phone rings to remind you that someone is waiting impatiently for the files on your desk that you haven’t even had the chance to look at.
Then the trip home, the traffic that seems to conspire against you, another call that asks, “If you wouldn’t mind stopping by the supermarket, I forgot to buy your drink ... your drink...”
And one day you say enough; I deserve to enjoy life. And from the deep recesses of your mind you remember the delight that only a good book can bring. Considering costs, and your precious time, you choose an e-book reader, you create an Amazon account, and you vow to take time for the pleasure of words on your commute to and from work. Now the challenge is deciding what to read. There are books of every shape, size and flavor, with and without reviews, new and unknown authors. And the prices. It’s not that e-books are expensive, but it’s frustrating to pay for a book with a promising beginning, only to discover that the plot soon dissolves into the waters of Venice. You make your first selection, and after a few pages you realize it was a mistake. But you’re not so easily discouraged. You dig into your wallet and, gathering up your courage, you decide to try a second title. And then magic occurs. You’re on the subway, but you’re no longer there.
Waiting for your morning meeting, the happy memory of your new fictional friends stays with you. The supermarket stop on the way home gives you an excuse to read a few more lines. And without realizing it, your world and the world of the author become one shared space, full of new colors and textures. The book’s finale leaves you first ecstatic, then shattered, as you have to say goodbye to the world of those words. You feel anxious, longing for something you can’t quite explain. You want to recapture that magic, another adventure awaits to enliven your routine, your commute, the daily obstacles that appear on your path through life.
And then one day you discover a place that seems like it was created just for you; a place where you’re not distanced from the stories, and more importantly, from their creators, your guides through wondrous foreign lands. This place is The Books Machine, a space where the reader and the writer are no longer just names. A community, where an author can extend a free gift of their book to you, directly. And you show your gratitude by submerging yourself in their world, by reading their words. Here, you can make a difference for the writers you love. By providing your honest opinion of their work, you give the writer the most precious gift of all: recognition for their talent.
Books you'd normally have to pay for are free, just for you, with a simple request. Direct contact with authors. Your honest opinion. The best reads, the warmth of a unique community, the next book, a new adventure waiting for you at the start of a new day.
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