A favorite topic in the blogosphere is about print vs. e-books: which is better, does it have to be an either-or scenario, or can we just have both, etc., etc..
Here’s the best analogy I’ve come up with so far for my own thoughts:
I love email! I use it all day, every day. It’s the main way I keep up with friends. It’s fast, it’s flexible and it makes a lot of sense for our world today.
Yet, both of my grandmas still send me handwritten cards. I hold these even more dear. Not many people send handwritten notes these days. It takes time and thought. It’s slower. It seems kind of old fashioned. It’s quickly becoming a lost art and that kind of makes me sad. As much as I love and use email, I get an extra little warm delight from seeing a tangible piece of mail in my mailbox.
There’s a layer of connection and emotion attached to it. I want to curl up in a comfy chair and read about what’s been happening in this person’s life. It’s like sharing a secret.
I’m sure you can all see where this is going. E-books in my mind are more like email. I’m incredibly excited by all the possibilities they offer and by how they connect the world. But I don’t think I’ll ever have the same level of deep love and appreciation for them as I have for printed books.
Stories in print, like handwritten notes, move me on a deep, personal level. For me, they’re something to be treasured. While I trade emails all day, those handwritten cards are my most special kind of communication.
I think, in the end, readers need both and it would be sad if we lost either one.