Neall Currie, VP, Creative Director, Palio
Books and I have a history together – a long, intense relationship. And now it’s on the rocks.
Some couples seem to just instantly work together. Not so with Books and me. A learning disability made learning to read a lengthy ordeal filled with frustration, shame, and ugly spectacles (not just distasteful displays, but actual hideous corrective lenses, too). But once I’d earned my hard-won intimacy with Books, I couldn’t get enough.
How I doted. Stolen moments under the sheets at night. Dodging responsibilities for secret assignations. And the pampering! I learned the simple folds and tucks that turn reused brown paper grocery bags into loving coats for treasured hardcovers. Yeah, I used protection. Because I cared.
For years we were happy. Sure, we had tough times. Lean years when I couldn’t spend on Books the way we’d both have liked. Brief flings with magazines. That summer flirtation with digital video. Even a midlife crisis-fueled reunion with comics. But I always came back. Nothing else made me feel the way Books did.
So when I first was told about E-Readers – “you’d be perfect together!” – I was dismissive. No assembly of silicon and metal could compare. I clung to a simple prejudice – if it needs a battery, it’s not a book. I guess I just preferred a powerless partner. On business trips I’d see other fellas with these comely E-Readers in their laps, and I scoffed. I didn’t have to prove myself with a slender, curvy little item. I had Books.
Then it happened. One of those well-meaning friends gave me an E-Reader as a gift. A Sony Pocket Edition. It was fresh and light. Very hip. Just in the interest of fairness – I’m very open to new experiences – I read a few pages, just to see how it felt.
And it felt good. Natural. Right. It felt like Books… but easier and, in a way, more exciting.
Still, my commitment held. Until that fateful trip. I was packing for 8 days of flying city to city, tons of time in airports and airplanes, trying to make room for Books – one in particular, a weighty tome by Neal Stephenson called Anathem. I’d been dying to spend some time with that one, and this trip was the best time.
So I justified it to myself. It wasn’t cheating because I already owned the Book. I wasn’t rejecting Books. Books were still the one I love. This E-Book, it didn’t really mean anything to me. It was just a fling.
But what a fling. That trip was so intense. I couldn’t take my eyes and hands off the E-Reader. It was as if suddenly I was a better reader. Faster. More engaged. More passionate, even.
After that, the inhibitions fell faster and faster. In the last year, I’ve still spent some time and money on Books. But I’ve spent more of both on E-Books. And it’s not just travel that we share any more. E-Reader is so easy-going, so compact, it’s really right by my side wherever I go.
What can I say. We’re happy together.
It’s easy to say that Books just had too much baggage. But maybe the one with the baggage is me.
Palio is a full-spectrum global pharmaceutical and consumer advertising, marketing, and communications agency that excels in brand creation and specializes in brand strategy, product launches, global marketing, and digital and integrated media.