Celebrate National Paperback Day with a Good Book
I'm one of those people who will cling to physical media until it's pried from my cold, dead fingers. Whether it's my favorite novels, movies, or video games, I need to feel the weight and the substance of them in my hands and admire them on my shelf.
I get why people love their e-readers. I have one, and it's handy. But there's no substitute for the smell and the heft of an old favorite full of bent corners and little pieces of paper marking favorite passages, notes in the margins, and cracks along the spine that show how much love the book has received the way the rings in a tree show its age.
That copy of Dune in the photo above is one of five I own. Besides a special hardcover edition, that particular paperback is in the best shape of them all. One's held together with a wide array of tape. I call it my traveling Dune.
Reading Dune on an e-reader would feel weird to me. It would feel somehow impersonal. Same with Lord of the Rings. Sure, being able to port around an entire trilogy of thick novels in my pocket would be convenient, but it would feel so scientific and sterile. E-readers are (and this is just my feeling) for more modern works, newspapers, and manga. Again, just my feeling.
Note: Reading The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy on an e-reader somehow feels natural. I think Douglas Adams could appreciate that were he still with us.
Ok, that's been my physical media rant. Today is National Paperback Book Day, and I hope it'll be an excuse for people to pick up an old, beat-up, dusty, dog-eared copy of their favorite book and show it some love.
If you're like me, great books have gotten you through some tough times in your life, or at the very least helped you stay calm during a turbulent plane ride. Grab your favorite off the shelf tonight and read it in bed. It'll be like visiting an old friend.
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