There seems to a battle between e-books and print books. E-books are easy, cheap and convenient. What do print books have to offer?
Well, I can tell you. Print books can, and should be beautiful.
I went into the bookshop Saturday and found a new collection of classic books. They were all books I owned on my Kindle, but those books in the shop were irresistible.
They were all hard back, with unique, glorious covers, in beautiful colours. The pages were thick and smooth, the text bold and dark. They had introductions, and notes, and some gorgeous illustrations. Just looking at them made me hungry to read them.
Like I said, I already owned them all, in one form or another. Some of them, such as Jane Eyre or Christmas Carol I’ve read so many times I practically know them off by heart. And yet, when I saw those lovely, gorgeous, reassuringly solid books, I immediately longed to curl up with them (preferably in front of a roaring fire) and read them over again. I just wanted my hands on those embossed covers and those smooth pages.
I ended up spending £30 on two books (Homer’s Odyssey and Dante’s Inferno) that I had got for free on my Kindle. I hadn’t actually read them yet, but I will read the books. That’s because on my Kindle I would only get the words – these books give me the whole reading experience – the book heavy in my hands, feeling the cover design with my fingers, the intoxicating ‘new book’ smell, easily reading the gorgeous font.
Don’t get me wrong, I still love my Kindle. I love having over a thousand books in my pocket, and having new books delivered to it literally the second they come out and being able to find new books whenever I want. But it will never quite have quite the pleasure for all the senses as reading a beautiful, real book does.