One thing that really bothers me about American society today is how there are a lot of very vocal people who insist that a thing be one way or another. There can be no compromises. There can be none of this having both, one must choose.
I think it’s crap.
In particular, I’m talking about these debates between printed book and eBooks. I’ve heard multiple people insist that one format is superior to the other, always has been, ever shall be, and anyone who thinks differently is stupid, foolish, or just a bad person.
I like books. I love flipping through a book with gorgeous art. I love the smell of old books (as long as they’re not moldy). When I want to show off a book or display them on shelves, nothing beats a printed tome. But when I want to read a book, particularly one that does not rely on picture or graphics to make its point? I find eBooks to be more convenient and easier to read.
I want both.
I love my red-leather bound, gilded page edition of The Lord of the Rings. It looks great on my shelf, it feels great, but the next time I read it I am going to turn on my e-reader and read the eBook version I bought last year. It’s lighter, it doesn’t require me to set it on a table to read for an extended session, and I take carry it with me wherever I go without back strain because Amazon’s WhisperSync allows me to keep my place between my Kindle app and my e-reader.
Some people have a better reading experience with printed books, regardless of size, format, or weight. That’s great. Good for them. We can both enjoy the reading experience we prefer and it does not affect anyone else’s reading experience. The words are the same, the method by which the light and patterns which form those words and enter our brains does not matter.
The divisiveness rampant in today’s society sickens me. “X is better than Y. Y is bad and if you like Y you are bad.” The only reason I can think for it is there are a lot of people to whom the Internet has given voice who have a pathological need to not only be right, but to make sure everyone with whom they come into contact knows they’re right and agrees with them.