I’ve always been a steadfast believer in print books, and still am, but on a recent trip to Costa Rica with some school friends, I must admit my opinion was changed a bit. I’m still in favor of print books, but I’m beginning to realize that e-books may not be quite so bad after all.
My main problem with e-books is that much of the aesthetic pleasure of reading is lost. You can’t smell the book, you can’t touch its cover, you can’t run your hands through the pages, you can’t flip through the book and skim it, you can’t do any of those things. Of course, you can highlight sections without damaging an actual book and you can look up words, but you know: there is something called a dictionary, online or otherwise. The digital age is making everyone lazy.
Anyway, I will admit that e-books are pretty easy on the eyes; my friend’s Kindle that I was reading The Bell Jar on wasn’t bright at all. I guess I was under the misconception that they were, but that wasn’t the case. I still don’t like them though.
I have fears that eventually everything will be in e-book format, that soon those lovely, inky, printed pages that I adore will become obsolete, will even become mere memories in the distant or not-so-distant future. That probably won’t happen anytime soon. But eventually, it may, and I would hate that.
Still, it’s better to read an e-book than not read at all. And if you want to read The Great Gatsby on your e-reader, that’s fine. Just don’t ask me to.