I am grateful for the printed word. I know that billions of people now have access to information at any second during the day thanks to the Internet. I know that print may seem dead with all of the constant updating of digital information. Perhaps because of all of the bombardment of constant data streams we are inundated with, I find myself more and more appreciative of books. Oftentimes I read books (mostly science fiction or fantasy) that have been around for quite a while. The titles are no longer in vogue, their popularity and streamed Internet and TV headlines have long since been buried by the latest scandal or political upheaval or natural disaster. Some of them, like any of J.R.R. Tolkien's works, have been threaded in and out of society's consciousness throughout the decades. Thanks to print, however, any bound tome can patiently bide its time in a book store or on a library shelf, waiting for a new generation to "suddenly discover" it.
It is true that I am most often not up to speed on any trend whatsoever--being an extreme introvert often leads to this side effect.The great part about reading for your own enjoyment of the story itself is that you don't have to worry about popularity or being up to speed.Each new tome, especially those exceptionally well-written, provides hours of enjoyment and the sensation that I just unlocked an invaluable treasure.
The other great thing about print is it allows the works of great--though now passed--authors to be rediscovered and shared with a whole new generation that may not have had the opportunity to meet with the creative genius behind the words, but who can still enjoy them nonetheless. Prime examples of recently deceased word smiths, and some of my favorite authors, include Robert Jordan and Michael Crichton. And while they are not as recently passed, creators such as the fore-mentioned Tolkien, Frank Herbert, and Robert Louis Stevenson can still be captivating in the works they left behind for as many generations who choose to seek them out.
So, while the constant, in your face, up to the millisecond world we live in may try to convince you that you have to be in the there and then (here and now is SOOO 5 seconds ago!), I will continue to find a retreat in seemingly forgotten, though never truly obliterated works, rediscovering them at my own pace and enjoying them as I would like to think the authors would appreciate.