The book versus eBook conversation is not new. For some, the eBook is nothing but a fabrication, a pseudo book. For others, the eBook is ingenious, a revolutionary idea that is engaging younger readers and generations. For some, the eBook has no future; for others, the eBook is the future. Regardless of the belief, the conversation has given birth to a type of book, eBook hierarchy.
Enter fan of the e-reader. “Consider the millions who are buying those modern Aladdin’s lamps called e-readers. These magical devices, ever more beautiful and nimble in design, have only to be lightly rubbed for the genie of literature to be summoned.” -Steve Wasserman
Of course, the conversation doesn’t end there as the traditional book lover begins his rant. His words are sharp. His dedication to the physical book is crystal clear. “Those aren’t books. You can’t hold a computer in your hand like you can a book. A computer does not smell. There are two perfumes to a book. If a book is new, it smells great. If a book is old, it smells even better. It smells like ancient Egypt. A book has got to smell. You have to hold it in your hands and pray to it. You put it in your pocket and you walk with it. And it stays with you forever. But the computer doesn’t do that for you. I’m sorry.” – Ray Bradbury
He is joined by another print book lover. She too brags about the tangible pleasures physical books provide. She even further establishes the hierarchy, calling herself old fashioned, as though somehow eBooks equate to ‘new money,’ while books reverberate the ancient wealth of ‘old money.’ It is the timeless battle of old versus new. In Gatsby’s world, it’s West Egg versus East Egg. She says, “I guess you can call me “old fashioned.” I prefer the book with the pages that you can actually turn. Sure, I may have to lick the tip of my fingers so that the pages don’t stick together when I’m enraptured in a story that I can’t wait to get to the next page. But nothing beats the sound that an actual, physical book makes when you first crack it open or the smell of new, fresh, printed words on the creamy white paper of a page turner.” – Felicia Johnson
Last but not least, the voice of comprise is allowed a minute to speak. His words are few, but his message is large. “Lovers of print are simply confusing the plate for the food.” – Douglas Adams Is this true? Is the entire debate a misunderstanding? A difference of opinion? Either way, I believe renowned poet Maya Angelou says it best, “Any book that helps a child [or adult] to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his [or her] deep and continuing needs, is good for him [or her].”