My Tablet is not stone

I read on a tablet.  It feels so old school.  Think about it–Thirty-four centuries ago God wrote the Ten Commandments on tablets—stone tablets.  It seems to me the Tablet is a fairly permanent form for reading and writing. God touched the tablet and words appeared.

Reading and Writing developed simultaneously.  They had to.  I mean, some ancient Elamite didn’t just stamp patterns into clay and then gather a group around to decide what it said.  Reading and Writing are gifts, delivered perhaps by the touch of God’s finger.

My Tablet is not a tablet of stone.  My tablet is powered by electricity and the whispernet.  Whispernet—not exactly the still small voice–a different kind of connection.

The oldest known piece of writing is the Shabako Stone, an Egyptian tablet that survived thousands of years and time spent as a millstone before it was discovered and decoded, giving us the earliest  known version of the Egyptian Book of the Dead.

My Tablet would never survive as a millstone.  Even the Shabako Stone was damaged so that it became unreadable in spots after so many years of grinding.

My Tablet holds thousands of books, and I can choose what they are.  Early writings were almost always religious.  It took time to engrave words on stone, clay or metal—you didn’t waste it on things that don’t matter.  But, it also takes time to read thousands of books, so maybe I need to be a little bit discriminating about what I add to my Tablet.

Today, I tell myself, truth is often told through fiction.  But to keep my foundations true I have a copy of the King James Bible on my Tablet along with all that fiction.  A lot of both are still waiting to be read.

I’d like to think we’ve come full circle, back to the Tablet.  OK, not tablets of stone or clay, but the electronic tablet–Wi-Fi and internet accessible–allowing me to pull up one page at a time on its surface—with just the touch of a finger.  A library in my hand, a miracle.

Remember that reading and writing are inseparable.  The Tablet makes it easier not only to read, but to write and publish without ink or paper.  That sounds kind of like magic too. I love e-publishing.  My first book Shaman Priest by Karen Hopkins is out there on both the Kindle and the Nook.  My second book, Down the Colorado: A Kiko and Maggie Perez Mystery was published on Kindle yesterday and should be available on Nook next week.  It’s fun.  It’s fiction.  I hope they find their way to your Tablet!


About Karen Hopkins

Karen Hopkins (1949-) was born in Los Angeles and raised in Martinez, California. At seventeen she moved to Talcahuano, Chile. After completing her university degree she worked in London, England for Pan American Airlines and traveled extensively throughout Europe, the Middle East, and India. For twenty-six years Karen taught Spanish and English as a Second Language in a variety of settings including a private school in Panama, the "most remote school in the United States" in Ticaboo, Utah, the Navajo Reservation, and a teacher exchange in Hermosillo, Mexico. Karen and her husband traveled extensively throughout Mexico and Central America, spending many summers in the highlands of Chiapas and Guatemala . Karen currently lives in Southern Arizona, near the Mexican border.
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