Print Books are just Superior

Through a combination of daily Bookbub emails and the android kindle app, I’ve started reading some books in ebook form. I haven’t read many yet, because even shorter ones can take me months to finish. I read several books at once and, generally, I’m more likely to reach for physical copies than the kindle app. It doesn’t inspire me to open it.

It might be partially because of my device. Maybe when I inevitably get a true ereader (or a tablet, more likely), with a screen that displays something more like a real book’s full page, it will improve the e-reading experience. That said, I still think I will forever prefer turning a page to swiping a screen.

Ebooks might be more practical at times, certainly. In the sense of the paper it saves, more environmentally friendly. On a long trip, you could bring a large collection of books without taking up much space in your luggage. And the content is the same–but the reading experience simply is not.

I feel like print books welcome me into the story. They draw me in and ask me to stay a little longer. Having something to hold on to allows me to believe that in some way or another, the story is more real. The tactile connection is important. Ebooks are cold, distant. They don’t care about me reading them.

Perhaps it is the very fact that physical books take up space–owning them is more of a commitment. Maybe it’s a generational thing. When I was a child, computers were much less a part of daily life and e-books were not yet a product. I grew up on print. I can’t help wondering if this convenient but impersonal form of books is going to create a generation (or many) that do not understand the importance and magic of reading. That makes me sad.

I don’t really care that much what kind of paper print books are made of. If they find a better, more environmentally-conscious material for physical volumes, that would be fantastic, and I would fully endorse making books in the greenest possible way. I also believe that good books cannot be a waste of paper.

However the process changes in the future, I ask everyone–publishers, consumers, printers, etc.–to consider the wonder of print books.

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The Writer

She bends the world to her imagination.

She turns pictures into art. Turns them into stories. She makes clouds, waves, red maple leaves, gowns, emeralds, murals, and she makes spirits, faery rings, unicorns, firebirds. She holds them in her mind, streaking glimmers of color across her inner sight.

Ink and paper create her scrying pool. It is the only way for her eyes to see what her mind conceives. And once on paper, her ideas live.

She finds it easy to turn these things into words, but she can’t explain herself.

One day she meets someone.

She thinks he sees her. She wills him to see her. But he does not see as deeply as she first thought. She watches him walk away over and over again.

In her mind, maybe he sees her fully. Maybe their bodies meet. But those images remain there, not put to paper. Too vulnerable, too raw. They remain with the other thoughts she cannot bear to see inked. This, because if she does see it, she wants it to be real.

(First draft – freshly pressed. Comments – can/should this go anywhere?)