Deep in the Hundred Acre Woods

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I'm one of those that hates e-books even if they've never seen one or read one. Always have been. No need to look around the room for my striped red shirt, bright blue pants, and dorky looking beanie. I'm coming out of the closet and admitting that I'm one of those ridiculous people who doesn't like digital publishing even when they haven't given it a try.

The reason why? It's different. Plain and simple. It's not what I grew up with. In my mind, it threatens what a book is, what authorship is: holding a bound book with your name on it in your hands. A Kindle or iPad isn't a bookshelf that I can stare at from across the room and feel proud of because all the different color spines of the books make the wall look pretty and also because I look at all the titles and say to myself, yeah, I've actually read stuff.

Wanting them to stop publishing e-books in favor of bound books because they're good to decorate with is pretty much the stupidest reason to oppose digital publishing, and yet it and numerous other almost equally as stupid reasons are what I hold onto in defense of traditional publishing. The sheer truth of it is that I don't think I really would mind reading a book on a Kindle or iPad if I actually gave it a try. Reading tonight's assigned reading on my laptop screen without the slightest care that I had to scroll down to read the text instead of flipping a page, I can't deny that reading material digitally really isn't something I'm opposed to. I do it all the time when I'm trying to read an excerpt from Google Books or analyze a poem I'm supposed to read for my English class.

The reason why I'm coming out and saying this? Because the image in tonight's reading of the father reading his child Winnie the Pooh from his iPad one night and the mother reading it from the bound copy the next night is kind of beautiful. The child is learning to appreciate both forms of books for two different reasons and to appreciate the same story in two different ways. It's like being able to speak two different languages and understand concepts outside the limits of those languages. That lucky child is probably gaining a better understanding of the story than any of us in previous generations did when it was read to us in only form of media.

So, yes to e-publishing. But yes to traditional forms of publishing as well. One without the other isn't quite right. It's the marriage of the two that creates the meaning that modern-day readers are looking for.

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Comments

Agreed

write_stuf, I completely agree with your post. There is something special about having a printed book in hand that its electronic counterpart cannot and will never recreate.

chelsiemess's picture

I do love staring at my

I do love staring at my bookshelves!

Great point about dual media with Winnie the Pooh! I love the idea of readers coming to a place where they are comfortable with both forms of books.

laura8's picture

I agree with you that people

I agree with you that people need to experience both kinds of books - if only to know where we came from. We need to have an appreciation for the history of the book and the future of the book. And I think that both forms will last in some way or another. In 50 years, printed books may be seen as a novelty, an antique - something to hold onto and read for the sake of reading a printed book. People may collect certain titles because they like the look of the covers. Or favorites might be stashed on the bookshelf in your home, allowing you to constantly see them and be reminded.The future may allow both printed books and e-books to exist alongside each other.