I recently enjoyed The Huffington Post‘s books and culture writer Claire Fallon’s post, “11 Simple Reasons the Print Book Doomsayers are Wrong.” According to the New York Times, she writes, “print book sales are holding steady in 2015 — and ebook sales have hit a wall. I admit, I fall into #9 on her list – I buy and read both. Here are three more from her list I particularly like:
Loving the Print Book
Some beautifully designed books offer pleasure in themselves, as aesthetic objects.
She asks, “Why buy a generic ebook copy of a new novel [in my case more than likely nonfiction] when [you] could spend a few bucks more…and get an aesthetically pleasing memento to fill your bookcase?” I admit, if I really love a book I often want it on my bookshelf, at least for awhile. When I see the spine along with other favorite books, it brings a smile and lovely memories of it back to mind.
You can make your own mark on a book in a personal, distinctive way you simply can’t on an ebook.
Fallon goes on: “No amount of digital highlighting or typed notations can compare to looking back over the jotted marginalia in your own handwriting and pencil underlines that grow heavier when you were particularly excited.” While I am not the heavy pencil underline type, I do underline, star and write in margins a lot, especially nonfiction books I will be reviewing. Like the next reason, I find that jotted marginalia adds to the intimacy of the reading experience.
Nearly every reader feels some sort of emotional attachment to their print books, which we physically interact with, closely, as we read.
She writes, “No other form of media involves this intimate engagement throughout, with our own fingers softening the pages and creasing the corners. Rereading these books also means returning to an object we’ve loved and imbued with ourselves.”
Agreed! This experience also brings to mind how there is nothing like the feel of the page and the sound and feel of turning the page. When I get to the last page, I often read the last paragraph more slowly, and take in how the author ends the piece. I sit and contemplate for a moment or two – maybe more – about the book and my experience of it.
From start to finish, reading the print book is an personal experience like no other. What’s right up there when it comes to favorite experiences in life? Reading a print book that’s a real page-turner – one that is hard to put down!
What’s one of your favorite page-turners?