What's The Big Deal?

By on

I honestly don't understand why print should be fetishized. Really, what's the big deal. This is especially so when it comes to textbooks. I mean, who wants to lug around multiple, thick, and heavy volumes to classes when they could compress all that information into a file and carry it on one compact device. Not only this, but the digital brings the days of dog-earing pages and relentlessly shuffling through pages to find that one important passage to a close. There are so many advantages to the digital book that I cannot even list them all here, yet people still yearn for...the smell and feel of paper? What's so great about it? The only thing I can think of in terms of justifying the continued existence of print books is the slight possibility of digital technology going extinct. Print gives society a way to preserve texts in the event this unlikelihood happens, but then again, remember the Alexandrian libraries? Print is just as, no wait, I would say more so, vulnerable to fire than the digital book is vulnerable to technological crashes. And, if we're talking about endurance, wouldn't a digital file that can be constantly updated an maintained be more durable than a print book that is susceptible to decomposition and deterioration? I guess that durability isn't the real issue though. So what is? What makes a print book more valuable than a digital book exactly. I don't particularly care for the smell of paper. Have you ever smelled the air near a paper factory? I think it all falls back to tangibility. I've said this before, and it is mentioned in the reading for today, but I do think that this fetish of the physical will eventually fall to the wayside, well, maybe not completely. It has often been said that as the digital age gains in dominance that the print book will continue to exist as a rarer, more expensive item, specifically appealing to collectors. Forgive me, but I just don't share the author of this article's zeal for all things print.




I always forget to think about text books. I go straight to novels when I start thinking about eBooks. I agree in that case. Nobody wants to carry around a bunch of big text books. I do like the concept of text books in e-format. It is the novels that I have trouble with. Either way you look at the way a book is made, print or e-text, there will always be the possibility that it could be lost forever. Writing has made it this far through history so there will always be another form of text to shared with other people. This fetish with books well most likely fade out over time, but for now, it is here to stay because there is no explaining why a fetish is a fetish.