, , , , ,

vintageActually e-books don’t stink, they smell like nothing. Gone is the stale musty scent of times gone by, the faint hint of vanilla and old ink.

You cannot get disgusted at an e-book and hurl it against a wall. There are people walking in the world who will never know the deep satisfaction that comes from slamming the receiver on an old telephone down, or hurling a book against the wall. That is sad.

You cannot comb garage sales and back alley bookstores seeking some ancient and well-loved copy of a rare e-book, some obscure piece of pulp fiction or a trashy little bundle of sci/fi, covered in dust and yellowing about the edges.

With e-books, there’s no reason to leave your home at all.

E-books, well they self destruct. They cannot go missing for 40 years inpaperback someone’s attic only to be discovered among the cobwebs like some rare and priceless treasure, long hidden in a desert tomb.

You cannot tear the pages out of an e-book. This is an exceedingly cruel situation to find oneself in, especially when the author has done something with a character you do not like. How can I fix it for you, if I cannot tear out your pages and shred them?

You cannot write in the margins of an e-book. How can I possibly correct your grammar and cheap editing if I cannot scribble all over your work? There are things that must be said, notations made, sentences underlined. Who pours indifference over a book and refuses to converse with it? Who does that??!

E-books can die on you right in the middle of the best part! There is nothing worse than being threatened with a low battery right when you are about to get to the crux of the matter.

mountainsWith a paperback one can always light a candle or get a flashlight when the power goes out. With an e-book, one is compelled to travel for miles just to find a public restroom with an electrical outlet so as to continue the story.

E-books lack the scars of love, the stretch marks and coffee stains that come from being well-loved and well shared. There are no torn covers, no wrinkles and finger prints that reveal this delicious little book once shared intimacy with others.

There are people who will never catch a whiff of an old cigar, the stale musty scent of times gone by, the faint hint of vanilla and old ink. People who will never know the joy of blowing off the dust, tucking those brittle yellow pages back into their spine, and lovingly caressing your new-found treasure.

That is very sad.

I, however, have known all these things and have inhaled the joy to be found there, devoured the contents within, and when disappointed, hurled the thing at the wall. How do I explain these things to my children and grandchildren, these secret things that are being lost and stolen, these moments they will never understand?