Doesn’t Anyone Care About the Aesthetic Value of Books Anymore?

Today I am straying a bit from my usual posts about promotional products or advertising gripes, but that’s okay.  I am concerned for the welfare of my favorite material possession in the world: the book.  Ever since the Amazon Kindle’s release a couple of years ago, I have struggled with mixed feelings about it, and I think I’ve finally reached a verdict.  Call me old fashioned, but I won’t be purchasing an electronic book device anytime soon.

Don’t misunderstand me, because I think the Kindle is a spectacular invention worthy of our time and our praise.  However, PERSONALLY, I do not believe they should be replacing physical copies of books in the next few years as everyone says they should.  My reasoning?  How can I both admire the Kindle and boycott it at the same time?  Well, I can’t explain this any other way, so I’ll just spit it out even though it may sound odd.  I love books because they are so much more than compilations of words for eyes to scan and process.  To me, books are aesthetically pleasing.  I enjoy picking them up and noticing their various weights, I enjoy flipping through the pages (and feeling the actual texture and thickness of the pages), I love collecting different editions of my favorites, and I love the way they look on my bookshelves.  My problem with devices like the Kindle is that they can’t replace the aspects of books that are most important to me.

When I picture myself sitting down in my fat armchair to read a book, I certainly don’t visualize any electronics getting in the way.  I know that the Kindle is set up to be easy on the eyes (not a back-lit screen) so it’s more like a real book, but I can’t get over the fact that it’s, well…NOT a real book.  I’ve tried to justify a Kindle, but I just can’t bring myself to want it enough.  I actually did manage to think of one scenario in which owning a Kindle would be beneficial, and that’s during extended travel or while on an airplane.  In that case, if you’re an avid reader and you can’t get enough of words-on-the-go, then you can carry around your favorite stories and novels without having to sacrifice packing light.  I could see that.  However, I never want to live in a house that is devoid of books.  I hope that electronic devices don’t completely replace the real things in my lifetime.  Perhaps it’s the bookworm and collector (and future Library Science student) in me, but eliminating books would be utterly devastating, no matter the ingenuity of the Amazon Kindle.

Jill Tooley

Jill has been obsessed with words since her fingers could turn the pages of a book. She’s a hopeless bibliophile who recently purchased a Kindle after almost 6 years of radical opposition, and she loves stumbling upon new music on Pandora. Random interests include (but are not limited to) bookstores, movie memorabilia, and adorable rodents. Jill writes for the QLP blog and assists with the company’s social media accounts. You can connect with Jill on Google+.

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