Book fetishists are a little gross, let’s admit. I can appreciate musty library stink as much at the next reader, but we can stop acting like that’s cause enough to dismiss Kindles, Nooks, Kobos, iPads, Sony Readers, Kodles, iNoods, SonyPads, Kinkos, and PackNobs out of hand. I’d argue that it’s the built-in disposability of books—not their enduring, sentimental charms—that make them essential.
Simply put: you’re afraid to break your Kindle. You’re afraid to even get it wet (you pussy). Books, meanwhile, are designed to be lovingly abused unto their destruction. To be hurled across the room in anger. To be lent to a friend who will take it to a rodeo where it falls in the mud and is trampled by angry bulls. You get sand in them at the beach, soap on them in the bathtub. You mercilessly break the spine to mark your place. Maybe you leave it outside on the porch to finish later. Who cares!
So don’t buy this nonsense about the book as a pristine, holy artifact that must be protected from the onslaught of digital tablets. Because aside from the scrolls in the Vatican Library, there’s usually at least a thousand copies too many of any given book out there. Go ahead, destroy a few. Knowck yourself out. There’s more where that came from. They still punch a hole in the Farmer’s Almanac so you can hang it in your outhouse and rip out pages for toilet paper, you know.
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