Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Taking this Book from my Cold Dead Hands

Reading Aussie editor jonathan strahan's post on ebooks, I just had a thought: I do agree that print books and ebooks can coexist with each other as per his reasoning. However, the thought I had in mind-- the main reason why I think print books will be around a long time-- is because of the ephemeral nature of electronic data and the mutable face of computer storage.

Put it this way: it's easy to collect computer data-- as well as erase it. I figure the ease of accumulating stuff in the computer is the same as throwing it away. For example, I check out MP3 torrents half the time I'm online and the other half I delete them after a single listen. It's the same with any other file, whether .docs, .psds, .mp3s, .flacs, etc., etc.

I admit that one for this is because I don't have a large memory space in my hard drive unlike those with piles and piles of MP3s, movies and TV series that they can horde in their computers with big-assed hard drives. But regardless of this, I still feel I don't have a sense of 'ownership' of these things I keep in my computer. And because of this, it's easy for me to delete, delete, delete. (I don't even want to get into the representation of it, i.e. the stuff in my computer is symbolized by my computer itself. Hence the grief over the recent loss of my laptop.)

On the other hand, I buy/borrow/rent/steal a book and whether or not I like it, it'll be there on my bookshelf to remind me of its physicality-- its actual presence-- even if I sell/lend/throw it away in the end.

Anyway, it was just a thought before I turn in for bed. What do you people think?

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