Clear Horizons blog:
the Reclusive Reader, by Tzvi Schnee
Wednesday, October 16, 2019
I am enabled by digital technology to browse, irrespective of actually being in a real life bookstore, because I have my portable electronic device at hand where I am. A multitude of books may be sampled, without taking a single footstep towards the door.
At my own personal convenience, is a never ending electronic bookshelf, containing an unending supply of books to peruse au gratis. Who could ask for more? Even so, perhaps, the day will arrive arrive when any book would be able to be read in entirety for free, irrespective of having to search through the musty bookshelves along endless aisles and corridors at the local library.
If this may become an eventuality, shall I look forward to that day? Shall I yield to the inevitable promise of freedom at my disposal to carefully search for a book of interest from a virtual library akin to a proverbial cornucopia of food for thought?
More importantly, what books would be provided by that ever lasting font of pixels, carefully compiled by the architects of this mega digital library? I already know that my most valuable books are not available in digital format; nor, can I imagine that they ever would be – books with Hebrew and English, plus miniscule commentaries that in all likelihood will never be reproduced in pixel land.
Moreover, with so many choices, where could true knowledge be found? Is knowledge subject to relativism; therefore, being of value only according to the eye of the beholder? What of objective knowledge, transcendent wisdom, and divine revelation?
How many of us would actually seek out G-d’s wisdom, in digital format, when there would be so many other choices available? Distractions all, to the eye of the fundamentalist; yet, G-d’s wisdom is higher than our wisdom (Isaiah 55:8-9); for myself, I respect that others have their own reading niche; from my own perspective, I enjoy reading psychology; however, books containing His thoughts are definitively at the top of my personal reading list.