Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Luddites of the world unite


While it's obvious my Luddite leanings do not stretch to performing a Mickey Mouse type attack on the computer, (I'm using one right now, after all) , my 'grouchy-ould-wan' antennae shoot up when it comes to the choice between reading e-books and paper books. 
The concept of a swanky portable tablet upon which to read an array of novels, however convenient, still leaves me cold. And it's not just because the insanely, prolific Jodi Picoult had a good old fashioned rant against ebooks in the Sunday Times last Sunday - her income has reduced by 30% in the last year due to predominance of e-book sales.  Or even that author of the brilliant The Corrections, Jonathan Franzen  said:

"The technology I like is the ....paperback. I could spill water on it and it still works. So it's pretty good technology. And what's more it will work great 10 years from now. So no wonder the capitalists hate it. It's a bad business model."

It's just that the e-book seems soulless, somehow. Is there anything more sensuous than the heady aroma of the pages of a new book?  Or the browsing around  a bookshop, where a surge of energy wafts from those masterpieces on the shelves?Oh and what about  George Robert Gissing
who said:
 " I know every book of mine by its smell and I have but to put my nose between the pages to be reminded of all sorts of things."






Call me what you will, but I don't think the paper book will ever become extinct. Not if there are enough Luddites around like me.

8 comments:

Words A Day said...

Luddites Unite! I agree totally - you can't inscribe an ebook, they have no history. I love reading the inscriptions in second hand book shops, the cover art and actual feel of a book is a vital part of the reading experience. Even aesthetically a paperback leaves an ebook in the ha'penny place...

Mari G said...

Hi Niamh
The cover art is another so vital part of the beauty of a book.
Have to say I can't ever see books not being around, no matter how commercially 'unviable' they become!

Jade said...

I am the same exact way. So glad I'm not the only one. :) I love the feeling of a book in my hands, the cover art, the breeze of turned pages.

Mari G said...

Hi Jade
'the breeze of turned pages' - I like that description!

Debbie said...

Hear hear, Mari - though I can't help admitting to a sneaky interest in Kindles on behalf of my luggage-bearing arm. My nose and affections would certainly revolt, though. I mean - how do you cuddle a slice of metal? How do you bend the corners, get it to fall open at your favourite page or highlight the sad bits with tear blobs? Long live the scruffy old book. Debbie X

Mari G said...

Hi Debbie.
Despite my Ludditeness, I do agree the e-reader has its uses. Still you can't beat the old paperback for cuddling up to.
x

valeriesirr said...

Ah yes, but if you buy the nice leather cover it smells nice - seriously though, know what you mean about the sensuous aspects of books, especially the old ones. I found some ancient ones with fascinating inscriptions in my mother's house recently...

Mari G said...

Hi Valerie,
old books with fascinating inscriptions, now that sounds like a particularly good argument for the durability of the paper model!