Monday, July 12, 2010

Book Selling Evolution

I've been noticing something. The 21st century is catching up to the noble art of book selling. It's no longer necessary to go to a bookstore and stroll through isles of shelves looking for books. Now all that is required to buy a book is to go online and scroll through Internet pages with images of the covers and summaries, sometimes even using a search feature to find a book instantly. You don't even need a book to read a book anymore. eBooks are becoming more and more common, but they're not actual books. They're screens with pixels.

Book selling is changing rapidly. The way of computers and electronics may seem all fine and dandy, but it's not the same as traditional book selling. When shopping for books online, it's just not the same as pushing my way through the door of my favorite little bookshop, being greeted by the smell of paper, smiling and waving to the clerk (who knows my face from all the times I've been in there) browsing through the piles of books for what I intentionally came in for and maybe even finding something I wasn't looking for. You can't do that online. Online you can't take a book in your hands, feeling the pages with you fingertips, and flip through letting your eyes lap at stray words. eBooks are not different. With an eBook, you can't feel the warm spine against your hands as you open it, you can't feel the breeze of fluttering pages. They take away the pleasure of a book; of opening a book to find that it smells just like the Brooklyn bookshop described in the story. eBooks just don't have the same life as actual books, the same soul. You may not have known this, but all books smell different. Old books smell different than new books, hardbacks smell different than paperbacks, books about pirates smell different than books about dragons. eBooks... last time I checked technology didn't smell so good.

How many of you just sniffed some part of your computer?

See? I told you.

Books are books, computers are computers. Please leave the two worlds separate.

1 comment:

ali said...

You're right that it's different, and lacking in all the wonderful sensory details that add to a reading experience, but I don't think ebooks are all bad.

I love being able to have some books loaded up in my iPhone so that wherever I am I always have a book at hand. And for that, I'm very grateful!