Thursday, August 07, 2008

E-books versus Printed books

When the internet was catching up and everything was being converted into e-format, right from e-books to e-paper, we thought the end of printed material is near. But several years later, we still await our morning paper with the same zest, like we ever used to. I don’t think the e-format can ever replace the print. Nothing can replace the joy of holding a book and being able to read it page by page, by physically turning the page; knowing that you were half way through, and that you can carry it everywhere and read at your own convenience.

This may be anti-Green, since a book is a paper, which requires trees to be cut. But what do we do! It is a habit which is just too impossible to grow out of. I don’t think the joy which I get in looking at my collection of books, neatly stacked on my book-cupboard, can be replaced by any number of PDFs on my hard-disk. For a book lover, the joy of accumulating good books is as much as reading them. In fact, personally speaking, I tend to postpone reading the book because I just don’t want to lose the importance that book has in my life right now. Once I have read it, it will no longer be as much intriguing. I have never re-read any book so far. But I plan to since the time I started reading non-fiction on a variety of topics. Even some Fiction books are timeless.

I am yet to find another book lover who would rather read books on e-format. It is the love of the book for people like me, and not as much as the content inside. I mean, of course, the content makes the book invaluable, how do I explain, it is the physical being of the book which is treasured.

I guess, we need to find out a way through which there could be a re-cyclable material, for which we would not have to cut trees, and would still give the touch and feel of the paper. E-books are just not the solution!

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