Death to Books



There’s no easy way to say this: Books are on their way out.

I’m not saying novels won’t be read in the future (they will), but the book as we know it – a soft or hard cover with pages within – is on the endangered species list of outdated technology. It seems strange to think about books as technology, but that’s exactly what they are. Books as we know them go all the way back to 618 in ancient China with the first semblance of the printing press. Books have had a good run, but it’s over now – it’s over. Just last week I nearly ran down a woman who had wandered into the road while she read her Kindle on her evening  walk (a bad combination if there ever was one). E-readers are the next step in the evolution of literature…but that doesn’t mean I have to like it.

I’m well aware of the convenience and space-saving qualities e-readers provide, but you know what? I like my shelves full of books in my home. I enjoy standing in front of those shelves and scanning the titles and letting the memories of reading each one wash over me like warm bath water. I enjoy cracking the spine of a new book and inhaling the scent of the pages. Of all the useless garbage that clutters my house, I do not count my multiple shelves full of books among them. A book has a personality; an e-reader is an empty shell that needs to borrow a personality. It would be like having a robot that could download all your friend’s personalities. Sure, it might save space at your next party but wouldn’t you rather sacrifice the space and just have all the friends in the room with you?

I’m not trying to fight the future in any way, shape, or form. I don’t have to look into a crystal ball to see that my grandchildren will find my shelves full of books an oddity. It’s just that I’m tired of people telling me that I HAVE to get an e-reader…because I don’t. The thing that offends me the most about these orders is that usually the person ordering me to buy an e-reader is stupid and wouldn’t know a good book if it dropkicked them in the throat. I think most “book people” still see the value in a physical book, and that’s why the transition from physical book to e-book has taken so long. Drag me kicking and screaming into the future, but I will not go quietly into that good-night.

Rest in peace, books. You shall be missed.



~ by themoderntranscendentalist on January 27, 2013.

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