Like Turning Pages of a Dictionary

Last year, I tried to use e-books and download music on my device. It was easy and it included something unexpected. Compared to reading a physical book, I felt some kind of emptiness and dryness.

At first I thought that it was caused by the newness of the experience. I have been reading real books for almost 40 years and have listened to CDs since my teens. But I felt something different than that.

This spring season, Kenji Ozawa, one of my favorite musicians since I was a teen, made a comeback. He had disappeared from the Japanese music scene for almost 19 years. On a radio program, he talked about the same feeling that I had. I don’t remember his exact words, but he said that downloading music is similar to turning the pages of a dictionary.

At that moment I wanted to scream, “Yes, that’s how I feel!” This spring I bought a CD for the first time in 15 years for my personal use. Having a physical form of the music gave the music weight and substance. It gave me some power which is rooted deeply in the here and now. And I get the same feeling when I buy paper books.

Downloading music feels to me just like turning the pages of a dictionary, It gives me some illusion of richness and happiness, but it passes quickly like dead leaves. Now I feel clarity because of my teen star, and I feel he is still my star.