Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Watson Report: Words of Wisdom About Print Books

Having just received a package of Robin Hood: Arrow of Justice volumes in the post today, I thought I'd pause for a moment to reflect on some truths from the rearguard of progress.

1. Print books smell good. There's something about the paper, or the ink, or something.

2. Print books feel good. They feel more "real" than electronic vaporware. They have a weight, a flexibility, a tactile presence that gives them a personality.

3. You can sign them. You can't sign an e-book, at least not with the same personal care and the same weight of meaning.

4. You can riffle the pages, pausing if something catches your eye. It's a very relaxing, pleasant way to browse.

5. You can leave a print book lying around, or put it on a shelf, and other people notice it and are interested.

6. Because they're collectable, and keepable, and have their own personality, print books can become treasured possessions, with associations far beyond the content.

7. You can hit people with it if they keep going on about how much better e-readers are.