A tangible book is something more than a story. It’s a memory.
When I pull out a favorite book from my shelf, I remember who I was and what I felt when I initially read it. But as publishing changes from all print to some print to …no print? Will the traditional printed-on-paper book become an oldie but a goodie? Like record players and VCRs?
My ipad grants me immediate access to just about any book I want- which is convenient and easy. But like so much in our lives today, easy and convenient doesn’t meet my emotional needs. My ipad will never replace (only supplement) my shelves of paperback mysteries, dog-eared romances, beautifully bound classics, and inscribed favorites.
To me, e-readers are like digital pictures that are never printed out. Yes, it happened. You were there and you have proof- but it’s not tangible. I don’t like algebra either.
Not only do I have pictures printed out from every year since I owned a camera, I also have books from pivotal Kodak moments in my life. The books mean something to me, not just in theory but in tactile, sensory presence. I love looking at my shelf and seeing the range I’ve covered, the places I’ve gone and grown from, and the books I have yet to read. I like pulling one out and loaning it to a friend- something I am not able to do with most of the ebooks I’ve purchased. (The newer releases are often not loan enabled. I hope this changes soon.)
My next post will cover some of the books that mean something to me. The significance could be: when I read it, who I was at the time, or where I was, or who I was with when I bought it, read it, or finished it. I get a visceral feeling from these books and I will not be selling them to afford a kindle. What books do you keep on the shelf? Which ones bring up a strong memory? Why?
Here's a guy who knows what I mean:
“Touch has a memory.”
― John Keats