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Saturday, December 10, 2011

(why) You should applaud an e-reader.

This is just one more quiet, loud, egotistical, slightly tongue and cheek, flippant, forcefully humble voice in the ever going e-reading versus paper reading war; this voice is uniquely mine.

Depending on what circles you frequent, e-reading is stigmatized. That is a true statement. It's also ridiculous. It's unlikely that someone would directly insult or cast a slur on your reading just because you do it in E, but you still, almost without exception, feel that subtle “real reading is done in paper not E”. That unsaid statement
of: If you really loved a “book” and were a true reader you'd be a purist and never read a tale of woe and adventure in E because by people e-reading it's hurting stories everywhere.

At least I've felt this. And I should know, I've been guilty of oozing that very sentiment.

Wiser people than myself can reason why this happens and how to fix it; why humans are attached to the physical instead of the ethereal. I'm not here to do that. I just have one thought to push, one statement to proclaim.

Books aren't stories and stories aren't books.

People claim to love stories and their magic; their ability to transport; their ability to bless and move the heart. They claim to be utter aficionados of reading. But sometimes, these very people decry e-reading, and in so doing lie.

If they really loved stories for what they are in their essence they would read E and paper. They wouldn't cling dogmatically to the leaking(not sinking) ship called paper books under the guise that they're doing it for love of story;Under the deception that a story is somehow adulterated and tainted when read in E. That by reading it in pixels instead of paper it's less of a story.

Stories aren't books. Stories printed on paper and bound between two leaflets of varying material are books.

If you are repugnant of E-readers, odds are, you're not hating them for what they do to the story, regardless of what you think. E-readers take nothing from it and give nothing to it; the story is the same E or paper. You're hating them because you don't like the lack of a physical book and by doing so you're betraying your loud voiced statements about your love of story. If you loved story enough, the format wouldn't matter. This isn't about story, it's never been about story, and may never be about story. This is about you and your attachment to something physical made of trees that smells nice and can smash flies.

Next time you see someone reading a E-book why not give them an “attaboy”? They are devoted to the story, not the book. And after-all, isn't that what it's supposed to be about?


Gregory J. Downs said...


Millardthemk said...

Thanks Greg, feel free to use the "share" option for blogger. Reposting on your blog is absolutely fine :)

Jake said...

Fantastic post. I thoroughly agree.