Blog » An ode to the paperback
Earlier this year Lance Wiggs blogged about The challenge for Fishpond and presented a well thought out arguement for the eventual death of the bookstore, online or otherwise, at the hands of electronic devices such as the iPad and Kindle.
Given time, Lance may well be proved right, but until that time comes I will continue to buy, own and collect paperback and hardback books, and I bet I'm not the only one.
Back in 2001, migrating my entire CD collection to my iPod was a compelling proposition. Finally I could hit the gym or hit the road with my entire music collection in my pocket. It rocked because I could shuffle between my favourite songs quickly, and I was no longer restricted to a single album.
Books are different. I only read one or two books at a time. I don't need my entire book library in my pocket. In addition to enjoying the reading of books, I also gain a lot of pleasure from physically owning books. My books are proudly displayed on my book shelf and serve as subtle cue to visitors that there's more to me than TV and PlayStation. They also serve a decorative function in my apartment. Friends visit, conversations are started, ideas are shared and books are lent out.
Do the iPad and Kindle have a place in my life? Of course. But like the death of the manual transmission, something will be lost in the relentless drive toward convenience and effeciency and I'm not ready to give that up.