I am continually surprised by the reluctance of readers (especially those of my generation) to embrace the electronic book. I swear I've heard all of the responses mentioned in the "Of Two Minds" article, my favorite being "the smell of the paper." Seriously? I have never understood an obsession with musty paper and crumbling glue. I guess I was the only kid at the library who liked to request collection purchases just so I could get the book before any other patrons.
[Note: I'm probably going to offend someone who identifies with this statement. If this person is you, I apologize in advance.]
I think this response shocks me because the very people that often make this statement are those whom I know rarely read a book, print or otherwise. Instead, print book fetishism seems to be an indicator of cultural status, often making the statement, "I am an old-world romantic bibliophile who appreciates a more reflective time when we didn't connect through social media. I also love library catalog cards, hand-written letters, and other out-dated and inconvenient relics of a simpler time." While I agree that visceral experience is an important component of the reading process, I vehemently oppose the idea that digital books don't provide an experience of their own. This may differ from that of a print book, but by no means is it inferior.
The "The Cult of the Book" article touches on a similar concept--academia's lingering obsession with the superiority of print media. In fact, the university's preference for print may actually be a less ideal choice, for in an increasingly digital world, academia must embrace digital literacy in order to remain relevant. I feel like the reluctance of academia to accept electronic texts is, again, a cultural statement hearkening to a world composed of Great Book elitism.
So, after all that, I do identify with one of the remarks in the "Of Two Minds" article.
I still collect print texts. They're beautiful. I like mine crisp though; none of that crumbly glue stuff for me.