Thursday, 26 March 2009

My day out

Last week I had a day off. I travelled to a nearby market town and spent an enriching hour or so browsing in the local 2nd hand bookshop. Mr Turner and I spent £11 on 6 books, which we read in the park for an hour. we then went off into the country for lunch before spending another few hours sitting on a bench in the sun reading our new treasures.

This is why ebooks will never be right for bibliophiles. The glare of the sun on the screen; the battery going flat miles from a plug point or docking station; the coldness in the hand; the strange and slightly nauseating one sided weight that never resolves as you read through the book; the sensuous pleasure of the pages rustling, the feel of the paper, the smell of the ink, of the new, of the old; the fact that books really do furnish a room; the updates, the next generation; the flicking, the scrolling, the surfeit of choice crippling the reader; the short attention spans, the publish anything culture, the constant clamour of more, more, more; the battery acid, the plastic, the endless parade of gaudy and unecessary accessories; the consumerism, the soulessness, the decay of simple pleasures; the digital divide, the exclusion, the fashionability; the headaches, the eyeache, the over complication; the magnanimity, ease and credit crunch busting of bookcrossing, charity shops, 2nd hand books and libraries; the erosion of simple and elegant beauty and perfection.

Libraries - recycling since 1850.

6 comments:

Library Web said...

Sigh, I wish I could agree, but ebooks mean the entire catalogue can be read in large print. Everytime I see someone leave with a heavy pile of 3 or 4 books I think to myself an ebook reader is so much more convenient and will take over from the book if for no other reason. But the technology still isn't quite there yet so we're stuck with books for a while yet :)

Library Web said...

Article in the news today:

A 'Kindle Society' Can Be Literate
http://lisnews.org/kindle_society_can_be_literate

Sam said...

Ok, I'll bite.

"The glare of the sun on the screen; the battery going flat miles from a plug point or docking station"

The Sony Reader (along with most ebook reading devices) has a screen which doesn't glare & the battery lasts so long you can read 'War & Peace' 5 times before having to recharge it, apparently (luckily it isn't compulsory...).

"the headaches, the eyeache"

Eliminated by the non-glare screen. Plus the text size can be increased, resulting in less eye-strain than a small-print paperback.

"the short attention spans, the publish anything culture, the constant clamour of more, more, more;"

Equally true of paper media.

"ease and credit crunch busting of bookcrossing, charity shops, 2nd hand books and libraries;"

Pretty much all of the major classics are available in ebook format FREE. Ease you say? They can be downloaded in seconds, without having to go to the self-same bookshop or library & negotiate your way through the smelly public.

"the consumerism, the soulessness, the decay of simple pleasures; the digital divide, the exclusion, the fashionability; ...the over complication;"

This from a Twitt? (Twitterer?) I could ask the same of your PC & whatever device you Twitter with. Besides, we are equally excluded every time we stick our nose into a paperback.

Technology isn't evil. Technology is your friend (with the occasional exception of killer cyborgs from the future).

Sam said...

This is why ebooks are perfect for avid readers: The sore back from carrying, say, 6 voluminous paperbacks, the wrist-strain from holding a thick volume; the huge amount of space saved (vast volumes of homespace taken up by books is a family trait), the luggage space saved when travelling; the time spent not having to cull ones' book collection by lugging them down the charity shop or selling them online; the rainforests saved from being pulped to cater for a lifestyle choice our hugely populated world can no longer sustain, the elimination of the massive carbon footprint caused by books being delivered from online sellers; the not having to worry about pages getting mouldy or damp when stored in damp houses; the erosion of sentimentalism as a more practical but no less joy-filled world emerges; the saving of local goverment money as fewer disproportionately attractive people are employed as librarians (mwahahahaha), the elimination of the sense of inadequacy eminating from being surrounded by the self-same disproportionately attractive people.

Technology - improving our lives since that ape chucked a bone up in the air, in that film.

Paige Turner said...

I could catch a salmon on a bent pin I could.

My erstwhile (and slighly less geeky than the last geeky) colleague says that I am using the wrong arena if I want sympathy.

Technology (apparently) is not going away.

dgobs said...

It's not entirely the wrong arena... there are still sympathizers out there (like me!) who appreciate technology but not in ALL forms.

I loved your post - you expressed my thoughts and feelings about ebooks better than I could. :)

Vive la livre!