What Digital Can’t Do

Hundreds of years ago, books were very rare and students were privileged to read one. So few people owned a book, they were considered a status symbol. Now books are so easy to come by, it is a challenge to sort through all the ones we don’t want to read, to find the ones we do.

Photo by Caio Resende on Pexels.com

I had expected my readers to prefer e-books. It seems I was wrong. My paperbacks have as many sales as my e-books, even though the digital version is cheaper. Perhaps that’s a drawback – with e-books being cheap and plentiful, and the availability of free app’s making them accessible to people who don’t even own an e-reader, they may not be seen as valuable.

Beyond the story

Maybe the story itself isn’t the whole story. Perhaps we still enjoy the feel of a physical volume in our hands. The anticipation of what is on the other side of a real page. The surge of emotion we experience when we smell the aroma of ink. The cover art we get to appreciate every time we close the book.

It is fantastic that we now have the technology to pack ten new books when we go on a trip. Even if we can’t possibly finish them all. But it seems the value of books may still be something more than thoughts and experiences shared with us through writing – no matter how evocative that writing may be.

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