Books are fun. I like books a lot.
Are books dying out? I love how everything about new media ends up killing some old media. Video killed the radio star and all that.
Well, we have ebooks and stuff online to read and whatnot, but…. it’s just not the same. You read a book online, or as an ebook, sure, the content is all there, but it’s almost an emotionless way of reading. It may sound silly, but the actual satisfaction of turning the page, of holding the real book in your hands is part of the reading experience. To read on a computer or even things like Kindles is a very robotic, almost monotone way of reading. And, as was mentioned in class, once you have a book on your Kindle or whatever, you can’t share it. LAME.
Sure, it’s faster, but does that make it better?
I was watching an interview of Chris Hedges (for another ICS class) about a month ago, who likes to slam new media and talk about how it’s killing our culture and society and thought processes–you know, the usual. But what really struck me is when he made the claim that the literacy rate of Americans is rapidly declining because nobody is reading anymore–which is, of course, the fault of new media.
But people are reading: they’re just doing it online now instead of dead-tree books. Some will probably make the argument that ebooks are more eco-friendly than dead tree books. To them I say, so what? The ebook requires constant power–isn’t that a drain on resources as well? At least some paper books are made from recycled paper.
I find we don’t talk about books as a medium in this course, and I know it’s because the primary focus is digital and newer media. But books are something that, unlike the music industry, have not been crushed into oblivion by a new form for media. I mean, just look at Chapters in Saint John–that bad boy isn’t going anywhere (I hope, I love that place). But it’s quality is kind of going in the same direction as music. There are so many vampire books out there right now, it’s insane. And now zombies are the new thing. Which is awesome and stuff. But the writing style of most of these authors, I find, isn’t all that great anymore. I remember Pendragon, and Harry Potter, and His Dark Materials–what series today can stand with those? (With the exception of the Hunger Games–the first two books. The last one ruined the whole series).
I’m not sure if I’ve actually made a real point here, but I’m basically saying that, in my mind, paper books > online books and ebooks. I love the way a real book feels, and even looks and smells. There is nothing quite like a new book. This is a form of “old” media that is still quite dominant and I love it. I hope new media doesn’t kill them.