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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

My Rant on E-Readers

E-readers are quite a controversial thing aren't they? I've always been for them. What started my thinking about the pros and cons, though, was a quote from Ray Bradbury:
Those aren’t books. You can’t hold a computer in your hand like you can a book. A computer does not smell. There are two perfumes to a book. If a book is new, it smells great. If a book is old, it smells even better. It smells like ancient Egypt. A book has got to smell. You have to hold it in your hands and pray to it. You put it in your pocket and you walk with it. And it stays forever. But the computer doesn’t do that for you. I’m sorry.
I found this so infuriating that I was speechless and spluttering for a time afterward. Sure, everyone's entitled to their own opinion but that doesn't mean that everyone's opinions make sense or are right (and I don't mean this in the sense of correct but right in the sense of good or moral or whatever). Anyway, am I the only one who finds this stupid (okay, no I know I'm not). This doesn't make any sense. Sure, you may love books (as do I) and I understand everything you're saying, really. But this doesn't say anything about reading. I hate to tell you Mr. Bradbury but there's a difference. With every choice there is sacrifice. In Economics it's called Opportunity Cost. You have to give up something in order to get something. Me personally, I value the story and entertainment that I get from a book. That is why I read. To escape, to laugh, to cry, to live as someone else. To play dress up for a while. So yes, sometimes I don't get to smell ancient Egypt on my Kindle but I still get the best part - the story, and it's completely the same one that I get on the paper pages.
It simply doesn't make sense for someone that isn't a millionaire writer to buy all their books at $17 or $25 for a hardback. Not to mention that I'm usually reading a ton of books at once. Do you know how hard it is to carry four books at once? Especially when they're nearly all 400-500 pages long? I'll tell you, it's very difficult. Guess how much a Kindle weighs? About a pound. Guess how many books I can carry on it? THOUSANDS!
And you want to know what the best part is? I'll never stop buying books. I love holding and smelling books just as much as you do. I'm just not a brat about it, stomping my feet and demanding all the big bad machines go away! I will always buy books and I will always have an eReader, as well. And I don't think eReaders will ever replace books and bookstores and libraries. I know that seems like a bold thing to say, considering. But that's what I think.
Granted, that's only what I think. Again, opinions are up for debate. But they only make sense when backed with facts or reasons. I don't mean to call anyone else's opinions wrong or stupid. I suppose we are all entitled to them. If I have offended anyone, I promise I didn't mean to.
I'd love to talk to anyone about this that wants to talk. To agree or disagree. I'd love to politely and civilly debate the topic.
But that's the end of my rant. That's how I feel and I'm a bit knackered now.

P.S. I found this line that I quite like on this blog (which is also where I went to find the Bradbury quote as I couldn't find the original article): I'd rather read books, than whine like a child with a skinned knee, about formats, and what constitutes a "real" book.

P.P.S. Thinking about trying out a new signature-type thingy. Trying to think of one. Any ideas anyone?

P.P.P.S (And I promise this is it) I literally just typed this and didn't proofread at all. Sorry for any mistakes.

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