Top 10 Reasons Paper Books are Better than an eReader
Few people are aware that there is a horrific trend afoot. A trend that harkens back to some of the most dark, ignorant and troubled acts of suppression in human history. It has, sadly, been common the world over and once again is rearing its ugly head, with a deceptive 20th century twist.
Though the flames are digital and the process is more cleverly guided, the intended results are the same, diminishment in the existence of the printed word. Somewhere George Orwell is kicking himself for not having thought of the simplicity of this when Winston Smith was slaving away in the Records Department of the Ministry of Truth. How much simpler that job would have been if he only had to highlight, press a delete button and jot in a few new selected words.
This will no doubt bother the proponents of eReader and like systems, but for those who cherish the ‘real thing’ the implications of digital words ring loudly. Granted, there is a lot of useless ‘trash’ printed and perhaps in a perfect world that could be scaled down to ‘digital only’ but who would be the judge? It is not that digital books are a sin, it is more the potential for a seemingly innocent and convenient trend to go horribly wrong. Thus, in an attempt to raise much needed discussion, here are the top 10 reasons paper books are better than eReader:
- Electricity. A paper book can still be read without a ‘charge’. When trapped on a deserted island, only paper books will be useful. When traveling, you never need the proper international plug to continue reading a paper book.
- Sharing. The producers of eReaders and digital books have banded together to stop you from sharing the book you bought. It is nearly impossible to hand over the terrific book you just finished to a friend. You cannot leave a just finsihed book on a park bench to be discovered by a passerby. Book and bake sales raising funds for the elementry school will only have dry cake. The joy of giving without any expectation of return is lost in a world with only eBooks.
- Diminished to words. Reading a book is more than reviewing a collection of words, it is an experience. Recall the joy of holding a new book in your hands. Discoveries made with each page turned.
- Books are beautiful. Older books have a distinct smell, a look that commands respect and brings the words into perspective. New books also have their own charm. Each experience is open to anyone to have, thanks to book shares, libraries and the like
- Rejection of the fundamentals. Imagine a digital library. Not only would a visit to check out a book look drastically different, perhaps there would be not be libraries at all, as we know them. Where is the challenge of finding a book’s location and then searching it out or the awe of seeing so many printed books in one place?
- Ability for alteration. In the world of printed books if a book is changed there has to be a whole reprint. The original flaws or information are public as long as a copy of the previous version remains. Many books even become collectable because of this fluke of the manufacturing process. In a world of digital books every copy of a book could be altered, worst yet anyone with the skill-set could alter them. Such vulnerability is at the base of all digital data.
- The end of an era. It took a lot to get to the place where the printed word is now. That history is easy to forget, along with its value. Too many take it for granted.
- Corruption and destruction. More often than whole homes burn down digital archives are corrupted and/or lost. This is something to think about. History's greatest libraries have been lost. The Library of Alexandria is lost forever.
- Digital is not always best. Some things need to stay ‘real’ rather than virtual. Relationships, money and books top that list.
- Widespread industry effects. Book making, reading and usage ties into more industries than people realize. Too strong an inclination to digital books will affect a great deal of businesses and workers.
Now, before you break out the tar and feathers, keep in mind that the move for all things these days is digital. It is not farfetched to believe that environmental proponents and the like will try to scrap the printed word altogether, pushing products like eReader heavily. A world where printed books are rare is a world where, well, printed books are rare. It is a step back to a time when not everyone could have books, unlike today. So the next time you grab an eReader remember the most important of the reasons paper books are better than eReader: books are fundemental to our culture. Without books, our culture has burned.
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