baeef629075445.55e08f31e4769

¿Qué son los libros?

Num. 13 | Fiera infancia.

 

Para quien escribe, un libro es un medio por el que participa sus ideas.

 

Jorge Gastélum-Escalante

 

Para quien escribe, un libro es un medio por el que participa sus ideas.

Para quien lee, el libro es la incógnita del saber, el placer de imaginar, la sí­ntesis de tesis o antí­tesis, la búsqueda y quizá el encuentro, la revelación, el descubrimiento, la ilustración.

En los libros habita el recuerdo configurado por los sueños y el pasado, al cabo constituidos del mismo material: formalizados, el sueño es poesí­a y el pasado prosa. En la poesí­a y la prosa viven las palabras, señales evocables gracias a la memoria (el pasado) y la imaginación (los sueños).

Todo libro es un agregado de manchas impresas en un papel. Tales manchas son letras dispuestas en sí­labas, palabras y frases. Pero más allá, los libros son abstracciones que penetran el intelecto e interpelan el sinfí­n sinrazón/sentidos/razón. El libro es raciocinio ―por supuesto―, pero también entendimiento a través de las percepciones que retrae. El libro es una dialéctica entre certidumbre y duda, congoja y sosiego; es un coloquio entre los opuestos que dialectizan los saberes.

El libro es el cociente entre la ignorancia y el saber, entre la inocencia y la mundanidad, entre la penumbra y la lucidez. Un libro es un continente de inteligencia, un estallido de ingenio, una puerta de percepción, un puente a las dimensiones desconocidas del pensamiento, un acceso a la bioquí­mica inexplorada del placer.

El libro ―ese artefacto que ha facultado la transmisión de saberes entre las generaciones y los pueblos―, ha vivido una biografí­a de más de 5 mil años ―de las tablas de arcilla sumerias al papel que en lugar de fibras usa transistores, pasando por el papiro egipcio y los códices mexicas―, y aún goza de cabal salud.

A pesar del internet, sólo en los últimos 50 años se han editado unos 50 millones de libros en el mundo.

¿Por qué? Porque no se ha inventado nada mejor. El libro pertenece ―dice Umberto Eco― a esa generación de instrumentos ―como el martillo o la cuchara― que una vez inventados es imposible mejorar. El libro sigue siendo la forma más cómoda y manual de transportar información (en el tiempo y el espacio); es posible leer en la cama, incluso en los lugares y trances más insospechados.

Así­ pues, los libros tienen futuro a condición de que haya lectores: por el simple acto de leer, el lector transmuta en director de cine, o de teatro; o en escenógrafo, o en actor. En el libro tiene ―válgase― el libreto. Al descorrer la portada, echa a andar los singulares mecanismos de la imaginación. Una descarga de neurotransmisores se produce entonces, y el libro es distinto del que procreó el autor. Sobre un mismo libreto, hay tantos libros como lectores, cada uno con sus propias evocaciones.

Pero el libro es nada sin un lector. Hay demasiados libros haciendo turno para ser leí­dos, tantos que no alcanza la vida para revisar el acervo de lo estimablemente legible. Por cada libro leí­do, siempre habrá una fila de 3 mil 999 que se dejan de hojear, siquiera. De ahí­ la importancia de escoger bien, y por la limitada capacidad humana de lectura (unos 200 libros por año). Por eso es imperativa la búsqueda permanente de lectores.

Publicado en «Lunes en la Ciencia» (La Jornada), el 16 de abril del 2001.

Disponible en <http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2001/04/16/cien-gastelum.html>

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