Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Um, books have PAGES!

First, it was the DVD player.

The only benefit I really saw in buying one, was that Blockbuster could no longer screw me backwards by charging ridiculous fees when I didn’t rewind my VCR tape. I mean, let’s be honest…we know those minimum wage clerks on the day shift have nothing to do anyway.

When Andy and I got married, he already had a blooming video collection. Soldiers who live in the barracks have two options for consistent entertainment. Video games or movies.

I decided I was going to create the most expansive movie collection anyone I know has ever seen. So I poured money in to buying, cataloging and alphabetizing VCR tapes. I researched online to find out what were “must-haves” and bought all the boxed sets too. We ended up with over 600 movies that we have lugged everywhere we went, and we haven’t owned a VCR in at least three years. I refused to buy a DVD player until you pretty much couldn’t rent tapes anymore, and I didn’t want to be caught up in a game of “your movie-viewing device is obsolete”.

Now it’s an “electronic book”.

If I want to read an “electronic book”, I will get on the internet. It’s the biggest “book” that exists. I can read about anything I want in seconds. But I’m not going to call it a “book” because it’s not.

Mankind started to advance once the written word evolved. We have documented our history and imagination, all in different handwriting and languages. We learned the stories of our grandparents by reading handwritten letters sent across the world in a romantic tale of love and war. I have boxes of letters between Andy and myself through the years and separations that we’ve endured with the military. Books are typed, but they still hold the character of their owner through the years. My Nana still writes her name inside the cover of a new book. When they make their way to me, I can look at that signature and feel her here. Books are warm, they smell, the pages are stained and tattered. We keep them for a lifetime, and pass them to those we care about.

So please stop and think twice before you ruin our barely funded libraries with Kindles and other E-books. One day, when you drop it in the pool and it erases your memory, you will think back to this post and wish you had listened.

My VCR collection?
We just got rid of it two months ago. I am still sick over it.

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  1. You are so right and there is something about the feel of a book, the smell of the pages and knowing you can hold it in your hand. I feel you pain about the VCR's.

  2. This is why I resisted buying a Kindle for so long. The hubby tried for a long time to use it as a birthday, anniversary, or Christmas gift and I would refuse. BUT, I caved. And while the Kindle will NEVER replace books because I love having them in my hands, smelling them, turning the pages, it is great for convenience when you're on the road. I'll end up buying the paperback books I read on Kindle to add to my bookshelf though. In the end, it'll cost me more money, but I love having a bookshelf full of books. There's nothing like it!

  3. The good thing about the Kindle is when you travel. It's hard to pack 10 books, and lug them around. Also, I thought about getting one when I commuted b/c it was lighter than the book I was reading (Anne Rice's "The Witching Hour"). I do not have one, but would consider one.

    Save the rain forest, Keri, and get a kindle.

  4. Just doesn't seem right to me. It's a slippery slope. People start buying them, and then like newspapers, real books will be obsolete. They are cool gadgets, but i am going to hold out.
    I appreciate the laziness factor, Val. That might be the best argument "for". LOL.
    As for the rain forests...they're screwed. I work for the government where there is no paper reduction act. But I hear Laura is taking donations for Equador!