Tuesday, August 17, 2010

onward and upward

A hundred years ago people thought that by now we’d have rocket shoes, flying cars, and freezers that told you when your meat went bad. While none of those things have actually come to fruition, we do have loads of other awesome things that people driving in horses and buggies never would have been able to imagine. I’m all for invention and innovation. But there is one supposed inevitability that I will find very difficult to accept. Digital books. We’re already half way there. What with the iPod/iPad and their e-book explosion, thousands of dollars have already been spent on pixels where they would have been spent on paper and ink. I understand that it’s more convenient, often cheaper, and it consolidates accessories, but I’m not convinced that it’s worth it. There is no computer program that can recreate the smell of a brand new book (or a fifty year old one), no computer graphic that can duplicate the satisfaction of turning a page, no replacement for a shelf full of beloved paper backs. I can’t imagine a day where home libraries are a thing of the past, replaced by a paper thin piece of technology housed on the kitchen counter. Say what you will about convenience, I’ll take the feel of a stiff new book in my hands any day. Kindle may steal the hearts of readers around the world, but as for me, I’m going to dream of a future with hover boards, vacations to the moon, and shelves full of paper backs.

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