On Ebooks

I don’t know folks…

E-books. There’s a big discussion of them on the horrorauthors board. Will they ever replace actual books? I remember doing a paper on electronic books back in high school and it was predicted that by this time they would have pretty much taken over. It’s a thought that both exhilarates and dismays me. Okay, mostly dismay. On one hand, with e-books you can have this enriched text. You know, read Shakespeare, Milton with all the footnotes as links you simply click on. Wouldn’t that be cool? Jot notes and link them yourself… The other hand: Books are… Organic (even if ironically made from dead trees). They have beauty. They are easy. Just open one up and read. Unless you lose it physically, it’s there, comfortably taking up space on the shelf, on the table, on the floor. Personally, books are something comfortable. I surround myself with them. Yes, they aren’t very sturdy, but I own books that are well over 100 years old. They will be around after I die.

Holtzbrinck publishers offers a line of e-books. Big name e-books. For $25 bucks a pop. For some info that I can read on an icky electronic screen and probably eventually lose electronically. Using a format might become obsolete in 3 years. When instead, I can spend $25 bucks on the hardback. And hold it solidly in my hands, smell its pages, smudge its ink with spilt drinks.

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