A Shot of Prose

It’s gift-giving season. That’s mostly due to Christmas and Hanukah, but there’s certainly other holidays and birthdays and such, so if you don’t want to seem religious but do want to get in on the gift giving and getting, well, you can probably find some excuse.

One of the things that some people (people with better budgets than mine) are considering giving or getting this year are ebook readers. The most famous is probably the Kindle from Amazon.com, but Sony’s got some and there’s the Nook from Barnes and Noble, so competition in this space is really starting to heat up. God and I were talking about these devices and about their various pros and cons. You know, things like books never need charging but ebooks are smaller and lighter. Paper books never come with Digital Restrictions Management, but with ebooks you never have to hunt up something to use as a bookmark. That sort of thing.

Then I brought up one complaint that I’ve heard over and over again. The whole, look, feel, and smell thing. A lot of book lovers wax almost poetic about how they love the feel of a book, the crispness of the pages, the crinkle of the paper, and even the smell of the decomposing binding glue. That, to a lot of them, is part of the experience. Words just aren’t enough, apparently.

So when I brought all this up and told it to God, he didn’t hesitate, he told me that people complaining about ebooks by talking about how much they like the feel and smell of real books, is like junkies talking about how much they like syringes. Maybe they don’t like getting stuck, but there is something to be said for having rituals.

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