I love the smell of old books, something musty and inky. I love the way books feel in my hands, I think the weight of them is comforting. It gives a sense of physicality to the words I am reading. Being able to turn the pages helps me to gauge my progress, which is helpful during boring school reading and frightening once I realize there aren’t enough pages for a resolution to occur while reading for pleasure. I like the way they look stacked on a shelf, they give off an air of knowledge and education, regardless of their genre.
I love books.
How I feel about eBooks and technology is a more complicated thing to tell. I write this blog digitally (obviously), I own a Kindle, and I often search for books to read online and take advantage of the many book lists that are published on the web. I like the forums that it has created for writing, both through blogging and other advertising sites. I think that technology has ushered in a new age of writing, not necessarily a bad one or a good one, but just a different one.
The marketing of a book seems so much different than it used to be. Sure, books may gain popularity through word of mouth, as we saw in this week’s reading, but I think that many of the most popular books “go viral.” They becoming insanely popular, items of pop culture that reach a wide audience. They develop fan followings online, creating websites dedicated to the books and FanFiction writing that refuses to let the author have the final word. Fans become hooked on the world and characters of a novel, developing backstories and spin-offs and telling parts of the story they felt did not receive enough attention. All of these things are dependent on technology and they are all a part of the reading experience in this day and age.
I think that technology has its perks. It can be a useful tool when writing and reading, providing access to online tools and resources for better understanding. I like the ease of using my Kindle at night, and it makes it easier to travel with books. However, there is something about actually holding a book in your hands. I love the feeling of books and bookstores. Books have been around for hundreds of years. eBooks, technology, and blog posts haven’t, and they will never have the timelessness of a real book.