My Hangup on Hardcovers

By | March 31, 2009

The Watchmen - Time Travelers WifeIn the last week I have read The Watchmen and The Time Traveler’s Wife. While reading these books it dawned on me why don’t I think about reading digital books? It makes sense, everything else around me has converted from a physical copy of something to its digital cousin, so books would be a logical change.

Assuming a device like the Kindle 2 was available in Canada and had all of the books I would be interested in reading I still wouldn’t take it. For as digital as I am there is something very satisfying about reading a book. A well read book shows its age while reading a brand new book is engaging because everything about the book (the cover, font, page thickness) is fresh and it is immensely satisfying seeing the bookmark progress along the spine.

It would be the physical qualities of a book I would miss. There is a certain pride with seeing all seven Harry Potter novels lined up on the bookshelf that could not be had if all seven books were digital in your hand. This feels like a weird argument for me to make, seeing as album art and liner notes of a CD are something I don’t miss but others claim that make the CD a little more personal.

What makes flipping through lyrics of a new album different than skimming the pages of a new book?

4 thoughts on “My Hangup on Hardcovers

  1. Keith

    I have a Kindle 2, and I’m wildly for it. Not all books are bookshelf worthy, after all.

  2. Gordon

    The kindle is kinda cool, but I think the keyboard is totally out of place. This device should have been as streamlined as possible.

    Ultimately I agree with XKCD on the device. As a HHG, it’s fantastic. As a book, I’d rather turn the page.

  3. corine

    A friend of mine has a sony ebook and LOVES it— it’s quite interesting.
    I’m considering it as I tend to have suitcases full of books when I travel 🙂 and there’s something really satisfying about having dozens of books in one lightweight device

    My only issue is that I rarely BUY books- I’m a big library gal. I’m thinking that I would end up spending a lot o’ cash on downloads

  4. Simon

    I think the main difference between lyric books and novels would be that a lyric book is secondary to the actual product where a novel is the product. The reason a lyric book can be digital is because the product – the music – you are listening to is as well, digital. It would be great if that lyric book/album artwork could be viewed along side the music on the iPod it is related to. I think that Apple is probably already looking into it. They do have the album cover art displaying and the lyric book/artwork available with a lot of downloads, so it is a matter of time I think.

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