Saturday, 30 January 2010

Pretending to read books

Here's one more thing I just don't get. Electronic books. A screen you read words from. Yes, they're the same words and it doesn't involve being mean to trees, but they're not books. A book is a papery thing with pages that you can turn. Something that you can keep. Having a library contained on a little computer is pretty depressing. My main complaint is that they just don't feel right. You can flick through books. Smell the pages (if you're like me). Feel one side get heavier than the other as you read it. A new book is white and shiny. As you read them they become dog-eared and creased. They go slightly yellow over time. Books are something to have on a shelf. This might all sound as if I like the paper more than the words. Maybe I do. I'm sick like that.

I'm sure the same argument could be made for music. People used to have loads of CDs. That's alright though. I can still buy deluxe edition Sigur Rรณs albums. Everyone's happy. Now Steve Jobs is showing off an iPad that can store all the novels in the world. In his own words: 'It's terrific, you can go into portrait and see both pages if you'd like.' Thanks Steve. I don't want to read things off a plastic slab though. I want people to cut down trees to make paper for millions of books that will never be read so that I can have a few that I like on my shelf. That sounds good to me.


  1. ditto that. But i suppose we'll get used to this, too.