If this artificial world of blogs were an olympic event, I would certainly be kicked out for my lack of participation. It is no wonder only two people read my blog!!! Moving on…
I once wrote a different rant about ebooks (or ick-books as I call them) on my old blog, which technically still exists, so if you want to read that go to storydreamcaster.blogspot.com.
To begin this particular rant, I beg a question: why does our society have such a horrid obsession with making everything a computer? Furthermore, why is our society so obsessed with the next technological advancement? It doesn’t even matter what the so-called advancement is, the people want it and they want it the second it touches the shelves, regardless of the increasing slimness of their wallets (on that count, I must point out that it is only a figure of speech because no one buys anything with cash anymore). One night I was leaving a movie theatre after getting out of a late showing. The time was approximately 12:30 or later and yet there was a long queue outside a major electronics store. Midnight had passed and they were all waiting for 8 a.m. for the store to open so they could grab the latest and greatest.
On occasion, I fear we are rapidly becoming the society Ray Bradbury predicted in Fahrenheit 451. If you will recollect, Fahrenheit 451 illustrates with horrific accuracy what happens to a society when technology and artificial attachment are common and adored. And as I sit on at my computer typing on my blog I do feel a stab of guilt for having a blog.
In all seriousness, though, it seems that in our society, if an object lacks a battery or a power cord or a screen or a memory card or access to the internet, it is an object of no worth. I have to concede that as a student in the U.S. I probably do need a computer for school, considering how often teachers will make things only accessible via internet (the bane of my education experience!). However, when it really comes down to it, my computer–and every other object with a power button–really aren’t that special to me.
Back to ebooks. I really must ask… what is the deal? There is absolutely no benefit coming from the invention of ebooks. Not a single one.
The thing is, reading is ever so much more than just seeing a word and allowing your brain to interpret the meaning. Reading is the perusal of bookshelves, the cracking sound a new book makes when you open it for the first time, the smudges you leave behind on the pages, the tears that fall when the story is just too much and there is no other option but to cry. The experience is everything.
Besides which, ebooks are horrendously expensive! The range being $150.00-$500.00, not including the downloadable books. That price range is for the reader only. It is absolutely bizarre to me that anyone would pay that much just to read. Once upon a time, reading was an activity reserved for the rich and the powerful. But for many generations now, reading has been a gift given to all. If the ebook trend grows, however, I fear that once more the withholding of a sacred gift will once more be the case.
I should also mention that ebooks are machines. I.e. they break. Actual books don’t break. The bindings can fall off, the corners can bend, the pages can yellow. But, even if a book is falling apart at the seams, it can still be read. Unlike an ebook that is most likely beyond repair if dropped into a body of water by accident. I once accidentally dropped a library book into a lake. (Awful, I know.) I was only a quarter of the way through when it fell, but I was still able to finish it. The book looked funny, and I had to pay a library fee for making it look funny, but it was still perfectly functional. If it had been an ebook I’d dropped, it would have been dead.
I suppose I could go on and on about the horrors of ebooks and the loveliness of real books, but I have spent too much time on my computer all ready. As a closing remark, I would simply suggest you cherish real books: their sounds, their textures, their weight, their magic. There is no replacement for a book.