Saturday, August 13, 2011

Off the Written Page

True bibliophiles would turn up their noses at ebooks.

At least that's what I used to think. Never believed ebooks are the 21st century successor to print. They couldn't possibly kill off our old paperbacks, could they?

After all, despite how much digital books are touted as the next generation of reading material, they simply don't lend the same feel as a nice old paperback. The delicious tactile sensation of crinkly paper often with minute silverfish indents in them, the faint scent of the printed page bearing reminders of where it's been, the little tears and smudges from all the *ahem* accidents it's been through.

How could anyone possibly not miss the entire reading experience that comes only from a book made of fallen trees?

And let's not get into how pretty an entire row of gilt-edged hardcovers can look on wooden shelves. Some might look at messy stacks of dusty paperbacks as insane clutter but I find them aesthetically pleasing. Hence my bad habit of dropping books in every corner of my home.

Not to mention witty fellows with books are a major turn-on for me.

One personal thing I've learnt about ebooks is how easily you can ignore them. Unlike the printed page, ebooks don't lie around looking forlorn waiting to be picked up again. Even a half-read book sits there as a physical reminder taunting you about to finish what you started. Ebooks? Well, I've already got quite a stack waiting for me on my reader and I have barely cracked the digital pages open as yet.

Still I do count myself recently converted to an ebook reader. Well, at least partially.

Trust me when I say this but it really lightens my load. As any true bibliophile would agree, carrying ten paperbacks in a single backpack is no joke. Since it's nearly impossible to choose only one book to read during an extended trip, I tend to pick a few of the best only to realize much later that all those added pages actually weigh a ton. Don't forget adding to the weight when I inevitably purchase more!

So being able to cart around a library easily, that's a major plus point for me.

Don't think that's gonna make printed pages disappear though. Not with the prohibitive prices tagged on the ebooks. Despite barely having any costs whatsoever when it comes to printing and distribution, digital copies cost quite as much.

Damn. Guess it's back to chopping trees.


sharman said...

i have to agree on the paperbacks. i love the smell of new books. i love having them on the bed. i love the sight of stacked books. i love flipping through pages. BUT they do weigh a ton. ebooks however light and easy, aren't as sexy by the beach or pool. or is that just the geek in me speaking?

Vincent~ said...

i kinda anti ebook, i know its light and easy, plus u can always get pirated ones for free..... but i am quite a conservative guy, unwilling to embrace new stuff i guess?

*in deep thought*

Aiya! Its just not the same!!!1 *stamps foot and pouts* RAWR!!

Aiden said...

I've tried numerous times to make use of ebooks whenever possible. But, it just doesn't seem to work. Like you mentioned, a paperback is there like a physical reminder.

Apart from that, I like the smell of some books. The ones that have this really natural smell. The woody kinda smell I think. Some books smell like those printer cartridges. Which is why I always smell a book before I buy it! xD

Life for Beginners | Kenny Mah said...

I still find it difficult to embrace ebooks... nothing like the printed page and the scent of old/new paper it's printed on... :)

savante said...

Not only you, sharman! I would find it hard to part with my printed pages in the future.

But who could possibly resist the scent, vincent and aiden!

As I said though, being able to lug my entire library around is a major plus, kenny.


two horns child said...

E-books?? Nah.. not for me too.