I understand the appeal of eBooks. I do not want anyone to get the impression that I am some bitter English major who throws dusty old books at little school children in an attempt to educate those “illiterate ingrates.” Like it or not, the process of buying physical copies of movies, music and other forms of entertainment at a local store will, at some point, seem old in comparison to simply downloading a product to a variety of multimedia devices. It is a future I openly embrace; but it would be a completely depressing world to live in without a book to hold in my hand.
I like my books like I like my women: physical. Terrible jokes aside, there is a certain connection between a person and a book, one that cannot be replicated by a Kindle or an iPad. It is the creak of the spine, the feel and sound of paper as pages are turned and the gorgeous artwork that is featured on a book. It is all part of the experience of reading. There’s something so emotionally cold when using an electronic device to read; it just doesn’t feel right. The best part of reading is purchasing a book or borrowing from a library. Part of the fun is perusing through the various paperbacks and hardcovers and flipping through pages to get a sample of what’s to come. That experience gets lost in the convenience of being able to click through a couple of pages to get to the content.
Aside from mere emotional “mumbo-jumbo,” I actually do have a more concrete reason as to why I hesitate to jump completely into digital content. I am absolutely paranoid about losing everything that I have. I don’t necessarily think that our overreliance on technology will eventually cause the rise of robotic overlords, ending civilization as we know it (though one can’t be too careful); I just don’t trust technology. This fear extends to all aspects of my life, and the thought of it affecting anything I pay money for freaks me out. As much as I love my iPod, there have been several times when all my data disappeared. I realize that there are ways to back up the information, and essentially, all of it is probably stored on my computer, but that ugly fear of losing everything rears its head and having a tangible copy is more comforting. I can lose a book just as I can everything else, but having something physical in my hands reassures me that this is something that is mine, and that alone brings me piece of mind.
I realize that the points I make in my argument probably won’t apply to most people. An eBook reader is a superior choice in terms of holding as much content as possible in a single item, and I can see the appeal of holding a small and sleek device, as opposed to an admittedly bulky book. The digital age has come, and I feel fine. I’ll just be the guy in the corner reading his stacks of books.
– Christopher Exantus
Junior English Major/Film Studies minor