Sunday, March 13, 2011

25 Ways the E-Book Can't Beat the Book!

I'm at a Book Conference with Annie Proulx and others and I am feeling inspired about books!

Annie referred to the points below (from M. Allen Cunningham)talking about the advantages of the book over the e-book.... something to think about!

1 . The book unites delivery device and content. E-readers, drained of battery power, revert to hunks of plastic.

2. The book begets libraries and independent bookstores, irreplaceable bastions of culture and community.

3. The book, beyond cover price, comes with no proprietary fee. Your preferred e-reader sets you back $250 to $500.

4. The book is not an inventory portal, therefore not subject to proprietary restrictions in content; i.e.: Due to licensing or discretionary considerations, Brave New World by Aldous Huxley cannot be downloaded to this e-reading device. (Think this is a joke? See note* below.)

5. The book is not a brand, therefore free from functional limitations imposed by a manufacturer; i.e.: The e-book you’re requesting is not supported by your e-reader’s operating system. Upgrade to our newest e-reader or follow this link to our checkout to download OS-2011.5.

6. The book withstands excessive dust, direct sunlight, splashed soup, or dropped potatoes.

7. The book is hard to eradicate except by fire. Is any e-reading device likely to reach — with zero loss of content — an age comparable to civilization’s oldest incunabula?

8. The book, presented as gift, shows regard for the recipient’s tastes, being a single selection and/or bearing the giver’s handwritten inscription.

9. The book can be autographed by its author.

10. The book, by conspicuous display of title and/or author, occasions conversation between mutually inclined strangers.

11. The book may be safely read in the bath.

12. The book relieves you of the screen in an age of relentless screen-media assaults upon the eye.

13. The book is not an immediate access point for innumerable diversions (e-mail, video games, etc.).

14. The book’s printed editions are traceably distinct, a defense against manipulations of fact or history.

15. The book does not “transmit and receive,” except in mysterious ways. No need to fear an Orwellian eye embedded in the page.

16. The book cannot be “swiped remotely” by the powers that be.

17. The book’s publisher may go broke without imperiling access to additional content.

18. The book, bought second-hand or borrowed, yields up fascinating ephemera: grocery lists, love notes, locks of hair, receipts, etc., bringing the reader into poignant contact with an unknown fellow human being.

19. The book complements your mantelpiece.

20. The book boasts many practical uses beyond communication (as furniture, makeshift stairs, etc.). E-readers — oddly shaped and breakable — are as obsolescent as other computer junk once they quit working.

21. The book is not invariably manufactured in China.

22. The book accommodates ingenuity of format: children’s books, art books, illuminated texts, pop-up books, fold-out maps, etc.

23. The book makes a meaningful heirloom.

24. The book may be safely left unattended on the beach. As gizmo it is not a hot steal.

25. The book is not a shopping cart.