I’ve never understood people who say they don’t like reading. Fair enough, if you’ve got bibliophobia (the fear of reading, you numpty) then it would probably be pretty hard for you to pick up a book and that’s all cool and understandable and all other niceties I don’t wanna write but whenever I hear someone say ‘oh, nah, I don’t like reading’ then it makes me feel a bit more dead inside.
A bit more dead and a bit more spiteful. The kids who thought they were cool in school somehow always split my cranium into two and enter my thoughts whenever I hear this phrase and it’s really hard for me not to rip my train-ticket up or spit on a pavement or something because those cool people were some of the worst human beings I’ve ever managed to meet. They’re either in prison now or waiting to go into prison or have impregnated the majority of 15 year old’s in the Rhondda or sit on street corners burning stray cats with fags.
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The other reason I hate it when people say they don’t like reading is that it’s basically lazy. If you’d rather sit down and watch a film/series adaptation of a book rather than read the actual book then you’re not only missing out on (usually) quite a bit of the book’s plot/events/peripheral characters and unique terminology but you’re also missing out on holding the pages and cover of the book – something which I think is a key aspect in the dying popularity of reading a book.
You’re holding the text in your hands and somehow – it might just be me but whatever – you feel that you’re a part of what the writer set out to do and you’re holding years, decades even, of hard-work in your hands. It doesn’t matter if it’s not the original copy, you’re still holding the text and the writer would be glad his/her words are actually being read – and not watched and altered – by you. Look up the definition of a book: ‘a written or printed work consisting of pages glued or sewn together along one side and bound in covers.’ I need say no more.
I’m reading something at the moment. Underworld by Don DeLillo. If you haven’t heard of it/read it before then I urge you to get your hands on it somehow as it’s one of the best books I’ve ever read. It’ll take you a while to read as it’s fvcking massive but with every word-surge you’ll feel better about yourself. The guy’s like some sort of prophet with words and he’s one of my favourite authors but that’s enough bumming him.
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Talking about massive books, let’s switch it. Tiny books. By tiny books the first thing I’d think someone meant is something that takes 2 minutes to read like a Mr Men book but this really is the definition of a tiny book. Its name is ‘Shiki no Kusabana’, which means ‘flowers of seasons’ and it’s been created by our budz in Japan and it has pages which measure 0.75 millimeters (0.03 inches) and the letters inside are just 0.01 mm wide. It’s 22 pages long. Here it is, next to a needle tip.
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Told you it was tiny. Makes Tom Cruise look huge. The book contains names and illustrations of Japanese flowers – cherries, plums etc – so if you’re a budding (geddit?!) gardener or you’re 90 and a flower enthusiast then this’ll be right up your street. But don’t forget a magnifying glass. It’s on display in Toppan’s Printing Museum in Tokyo and it’s on sale, along with a magnifying glass (good call) and a larger copy for 29,400 yen which is £205.
The current world’s smallest book is 0.9mm and is called Chameleon, created by a Russian dude called Anatoly Konenko. Looks like we have a new World Record holder, amigos. Bow down and cry. The Japanese have shown us all how it’s done, again.
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