Something Unspeakable This Way Comes

I read an excellent article on the transition to eBooks, and the resistance to it; what we gain and what we give up.

I like my Kindle. I think the only thing I miss so far is something sentimental, not organic like the heft of the object or the smell or feel of the paper. Many of the hundreds of books in this room were gifts from people I love, and those objects have special meaning beyond the words within the covers.

I’ve always enjoyed giving and receiving books as gifts. And I genuinely enjoy getting gifts cards for Christmas, Amazon being my favorite. However, if you give me an eBook on that day, I’ll probably arrange for the family pets to do something unspeakable in your stocking. “Hung by the chimney with care” should mean high security, is my point.

I’m kidding. I think eBooks will become good gifts, though so far I haven’t seen an easy way to do that, except the gift card. Which works: I got my Kindle and some downloads with a Christmas gift card.

Is all of this adding up to “it’s the thought that counts?” Let’s think about that.

The article is worth your 5 minutes, in my opinion. Here’s a link:

E-books Can’t Burn by Tim Parks | NYRblog | The New York Review of Books

Special addendum just for my blog readers (not on G+).

The title of this blog post is mindful of Something Wicked This Way Comes, a novel by Ray Bradbury, who is vehemently opposed to digital books. He told Yahoo to go to hell. Which is pretty funny.

Mr. Bradbury thinks we need less government, but the government should be vastly enlarged enough to put a base on the moon and shoot rockets at Mars so we can live forever. The irony of this fiction is that the only way Mr. Bradbury will live much longer (he’s 92) is through his writing. His books will certainly decompose if left to rot in paperback. I don’t think there’s a writer alive today who can count on being in print in perpetuity.