I Don’t Care About Books

Oh, they were good. They are small enough to be transportable. They are relatively cheap to produce. They are sufficiently sturdy to go many many places easily like the beach and the tub.

But for all that, they still suck. They are incredibly limited in how much they can contain. Once you get past 400 pages or so they stop becoming terribly portable. They are not all that sturdy. I can’t count the number of spines I’ve broken. Admittedly, I’m not easy on books, still, they tear and crease and pages fall out. And they do cost something to make.

No, I don’t really care about books at all.

What I care about are words. Or more correctly I care about what brilliant people like Kurt Vonnegut, Neil Gaiman, John Scalzi, Joseph Heller, and David Sedaris can do with words. The stories and the places and the people that writers create, those things are very important to me. Those things are among the most important things in my life.

Which is why I love ebooks. Ebooks! Ebooks! Ebooks! Oh how I love thee! Everything good about paper books is super-duper good about ebooks. They are even more portable, you could fit hundreds of full size books on a thumb drive or a SD card. They are about as cheap to produce and it’s possible to be, what’s the cost of bits? As for toughness, well, that becomes a gray area. They are reproducible for free, so in one way they are more sturdy than their paper counterparts. I do admit that this depends in large part on who exactly you are reading those words in digital form.

The only thing I like more about books than ebooks is record keeping. I keep the books I buy only so that I can have a nice visual display of the books I’ve read. I dig being able to see all those books in rows and rows. There are a few online communities that try to recreate that, Library Thing and Shelfari are two I know about, but the result is unsatisfactory. But if I ever get the same satisfaction that I get from a bookcase, then I’m done with paper.

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