Even though I am a gadgetry harlot and would sell my soul for any item with the prefix i attached - iphone, ipod, ipad, isexybloke – nothing detracts from my adoration of a new book.
Brand new. Spankingly firm and taunt of binding, wonderfully print-perfumed and creaseless and perfect. Straight from the printer to the shipping container to hot little (clean) hands; begging to be read. Pleading to be touched and inhaled, ingested and … opened.
But can you bring yourself to do this? If you open it clumsily or while you’re having a coffee, there’s a chance that this magnificent, virgin-sheened bondage of pages is going to be spoiled. What if the spine creaks and splits? What if the title page folds inward on itself and embeds improperly. What if the wind changes, you realize the book has been used and your face stays in that veneer of horror?
If you’re nodding along to any of this, chances are that you love a new book – hardcover, novel, coffee-table, bestseller – or you have (SO WRONGLY) folded the tip of a page as a bookmark, only to be discovered by the book owner/worshipper.
Will eBooks ever evoke such passion? Is there a ‘sensuality’ to downloading the latest from your favourite author and transferring it to your Kindle, only to train your eyes to a digital tablet while you’re reading? Is the concept of ‘books are sensual things’ really just weird and I need to seek help for the euphoria I feel when I receive a brand new one?
If so, I’ve outed myself as a new-book pervert. Whoops. Oh well, there are worse predilections to have, perhaps?
eBooks don’t appeal as much. It’s nothing to do with the lack of i prefix, more the lack of book ‘theatre’ – the limited romance involved in holding a tablet compared to printed paper and colourful cover, or the loveless concept of switching ‘on’ text compared to peeping between the beautifully-swaddled sheets of a pristine novel fresh from a bountiful bookshop …
‘Ken Hell! There’s that weirdo book erotism again!
And what to the question of storing books? Having shelves and boxes and mantles filled with favourites gathering dust, never to be reread again? Do we cull those books given to us as presents just because they are getting a bit crusty ’round their corners? Do we ‘get rid of’ hardcovers because they are big and cumbersome and we are embracing the minimalist lifestyle?
The eBook is simply written over with the latest pop culture text or whatever takes your fancy at the time. Less paper use means more trees survive all over the world and I’m sure choosing eBooks over traditional paper can relate to global warming/consumerism/oil prices/the Kyoto Protocol in some way.
It’s a quandary. However, the crux of the matter still comes down to personal preference. While we have a choice, I’d like my new novel with warm colour designs, neatly affixed pages and the straightest spine since the introduction of school backpacks helped prevent scoliosis in students all over the planet. Please.
Until the advent of the iNovel with paper applications and dual-layer touch sensations.
Lovely lady, friend and talented writer, Amy (she paid me) from Never True Tales is running a Friday initiative where blogs writers guest write at someone else’s place. It’s called:
It’s my pleasure to welcome Fiona from Squirt Baby to write for Fangirl Sings the Blues this coming Friday, while I will visit her blog and write something about my expertise at dress design and fabric identification. Then, it will be an honour to host Amy a week later. I will be pen an entry for her Never-True Tales on the day she writes here. It’s a great idea. Being relatively new to the BlogO’rena, it’s a nice way to meet new people and read what they have to say.
Enjoy the week ahead and please look after your books.