the contextual life

thoughts without borders


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books: i’m a junkie, a stockpiler, a fanatic. i have more books than i’ll ever be able to read and there appears to be no end to my weekly acquisitions. it was inevitable that i would get an ereader but as a notorious late-adopter, the question was never ‘if’ but ‘when’.

the other day i was pleasantly surprised with a free Sony ereader. “do you have one of these?” i was asked. “no.” i said and was promptly handed a small cardboard box. two days later, a sunny Sunday morning, i downloaded my first ebook: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, which turned out to be more appropriate than i couldve imagined, but more about that in a later post.

there’s way too much talk out there about the demise of the publishing industry and how it’s largely the fault of ebooks and their most popular peddler, i will spare you more of this type of talk simply because we’ve all heard enough and in the end, it sounds a whole lot like speculation rather than cold, hard fact.

as a heavy user i believe there is room in my heart for both physical and electronic books and anyone who sees the subject in black and white is, in my opinion, not a true fan. Kant on a Kindle? Nietzsche on a Nook? no way. not for me. those guys deserve notes in the margins made with real ink. Sci-Fi, first novels, books normally bought in mass market format…sure, you were most likely going to toss them onto a take shelf at your local community hang out anyway–or at least that’s what i do with them; so why clutter up your apartment with the tangible form?

as mentioned, i’ve stepped into the realm of ereading with the classic Douglas Adams Sci-Fi novel, the omnibus to be exact—all 6 novels in the series equaling 832 pages; something i would not like to cart around in my bag. luckily, i don’t have to. nope. the full collection fits onto my 7 x 4 inch, 10 oz. electronic device–a little smaller than my moleskin notebook, a little lighter than my digital camera.

but all is not roses and rainbows. i’m mildly disturbed by the presentation of the text—the generic font against a generic computer screen. it has no soul. no smell. no texture. it’s cold, heartless, without a pulse. how am i to interact with this thing? this thing that doesnt breathe, doesnt feel, is without history. as i hold the stainless steel story in my hand i long for yellow pages and a fragile spine: one that cracks with every opening and threatens to spit out its contents with every flip of a page.

real booknerds will never turn away from the physical: we know the value of the spirit.

Written by Gabrielle

October 13, 2010 at 7:49 am

Posted in books

Tagged with , ,

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