Old but Not Obsolete

Sergio Solis, Contributing Writer

For a time known as the digital age, we still seem to cling on to the not-so digital. Picture a scene of a cool artisan cafe where the music is soft yet lively enough and the aesthetic is beyond capturing, and the only thing missing would be an audiobook.

It doesn’t encompass the same charm a physical book would from the new book smell to flipping the white pages. And on another medium, we have the resurgence of vinyl records back into the mainstream.

Its resurrection may have been seen as a small quirky hobby some teenage hipsters created to, once again, stand out. It seems as though companies are starting to notice and become affected by the new trend.

One could imagine with the introduction of streaming music, all forms of listening would tend to fade but the current projection of vinyl sales is said to ultimately surpass that of CD sales…but why?

Although no one is certain as to why these outdated products are coming back but one factor that can take responsibility is that of nostalgia.

The power of nostalgia can sometimes be underestimated, especially in regards to our buried emotions that lay hidden. Something as simple as holding the first phone you had, or eating certain sweets, or even listening to the theme song of a childhood show can impact you and the way you feel.

It is a psychological phenomenon that is capable of giving you a sense of feeling and belonging, warping you back to a time of pure happiness. It may be the reason as to why we still hold on to these gadgets from the past, or in this case books and vinyls.

The feeling of purchasing the hottest record on the charts or the album of your favorite band and letting the needle play the music. This is where, for a past generation, you would hear these songs for the first time and if you would ask them if it sounds the same on Spotify or Apple Music. Most likely they’ll disagree.

But perhaps this generation isn’t too familiar with vinyl in their childhood. For the most part, books were part of our early growing up. Remember “The Rainbow Fish”, “Corduroy” or even the iconic “The Cat in the Hat”?

Having to exercise our fairly new talent of reading on these pages and understanding the story, there’s something that wouldn’t easily connect with us if it were on a tablet or read to us.

Sure an audiobook or e-book may have an advantage of being easily accessible and doesn’t require any physical space but the memories and emotions attached to each book cannot be replaced by the overwhelming storm of technology.

Physically entering your local bookstore and glossing over hidden gems or shuffling through records and CDs from bands of the past and present cannot be compared to adding it on the cart with the tap of a button from home.

With the times, naturally there is change and although some things are better left in the past; other things are perfect right on the shelf we left them long ago.