Friday, September 21, 2007

Books without pages

My quest to find a copy of Soon I Will Be Invincible by Austin Grossman is not going well. I think I may have to order it off Amazon.

This morning I got up early because I wanted to put together a new CD, which I persist in calling a "mix tape." I downloaded a few new songs (from Napster, people, I pay for my music) and listened to them and some old favorites* on the way to work.

That made me wish I could download Soon I Will Be Invincible so easily, but my immediate answer to that thought was, "Oh, I don't want to read a book onscreen."

Why not? I had to think about it. I read my own writing onscreen all the time. But I must admit, having a printed copy makes things a lot more pleasant. It's more than just convenience, it's just easier to read a printed copy. Physically turning pages is an important part of the process of reading for me; so is the smell of ink (in newer books) and paper (in older books), and having a cover to look at whenever I want to without losing my place (because I can stick my finger between the pages while I turn the book over).

On the other hand, I remember back when music came on great big plasticky things called records, that had a lovely unique smell and a great big cover and back cover, and the sound you got from a record had an extra depth from the phsyical contact of the needle tracing over the record's grooves. But now I buy a lot of my music directly online--no records, not even a CD case to look at. I got used to the convenience pretty darn quick.

So maybe it's time to look into one of those ebook-readers. Instant gratification, that's my watchword!

*Gorillaz, Garbage, Concrete Blonde, Joe Jackson, Billy Joel, They Might Be Giants, and that new Kanye West song with the Daft Punk sample.

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