Over there on the side column of this blog, there’s a badge about pledging to read the printed word. See it? Well, on the page that I got the badge from, the follow paragraph is included:
We support the printed word in all its forms: newspapers, magazines, and of course books. We think reading on computers or phones or whatever is fine, but it cannot replace the experience of reading words printed on paper. We pledge to continue reading the printed word in the digital era and beyond. (source)
I agree with this statement wholeheartedly. I suppose it’s best that I do, since I put the badge on my blog. In any case, I fully believe that books, especially stories, should be printed on paper in ink. That’s how they’re meant to be read.
I have read books on an e-reader. It’s got it’s pros, I freely admit that. E-readers are easier to carry, take up less space, and the books are less expensive for the most part. E-readers have their cons too. The cons are harder to explain, but I’ll try – because they’re more important to me.
I miss being able to grab a book and flip to a particular page without tapping the screen a couple hundred times. I miss the smell of paper and ink. I even miss worrying about getting fingerprints on the cover or bending the pages.
Books are sacred to me. The books I’ve read electronically don’t feel as sacred because they’re stored there on that little piece of plastic. They don’t feel like mine. They feel like news articles I can read online that I have absolutely no control over when they’ll disappear.
I know I have too many books, but I don’t know that there’s any such thing as too many books.
I’m afraid for books on paper, though. Our society is all about compacting things into the smallest spaces possible. What if we start getting rid of books? Sure, the Library of Congress will still have their collections, but will the average household? I don’t think so.
Given all of that, I’ve started collecting old books. I don’t really want anything from later than 1925 and it has to be well-loved and well-read. No mint condition, afraid to touch things for me. I want to read books and wonder about the generations of people who might have read them before me. That’s something enchanting about that.
So, I agree that there is nothing that can replacing reading words on paper.