Monday, June 11, 2012

Are you digital or tangible?

       Matthew Glover, who maintains a digital library for a living and just happens to be my real-life, down-the-street neighbor, wrote the perfect blog post to juxtapose against my recent post, "I Believe in Real Books".
        You can view it here at his tumblr. It's entitled "Digital Books are Real Books, Too". I love that ten to fifteen years ago Matthew and I, two voracious readers, would not even be having this conversation.
         Though we both love reading in equal amounts, we have different preferences about how we do it. I love spines and pages. He loves eReaders and digital libraries. What about you?

Are you digital or tangible?

13 bonus points:

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, but you've committed a logical fallacy here. You've created two extremes for books, presupposing that both are true of the two sides in which we are being forced to take. I believe that you are forcing us to say that the digital books are not tangible, and I have to disagree. For that to be true, there would be nothing for us to hold, and we know that that is false. Just because the cover is the same for each book does not mean that the book itself is intangible.

Anonymous said...

Your friend better hope Amazon never goes out of business (for all eternity) or those little ones and zeros are going bye bye.

Sheila Marie said...

Oooh I like this post. Leigh, like you, I have been in love with books since the days of summer reading programs at the public. I love the smell of books, flipping the pages, the works. That being said, when I was recently hospitalized, my sweet fiance surprised me by buying me a Kindle, even though he knows I regard them as absolutely ridiculous and the ruination of books. I'm embarrassed to say I love the dang thing. Considering I buy everything online because it's a pain to go out to stores during the week, I love that I was able to buy quite a few books just by clicking a few buttons on my Kindle. I still love books, but I can see both sides now. Considering pre-Kindle, I hadn't done much reading in a year or so, it's definitely made reading "more convenient" for me. Just my 25 cents. :)

Sheila Marie said...

I left out the word "library" in my second sentence. Oops. :)

kendalldunkelberg said...

I love real books, and greatly prefer the reading experience of cracking open a book with spine and pages. Recently, though, I've fallen in love with digital books at, a digital archive of books that are public domain. Why? I'm teaching a class on Belgian poetry and have been able to find full-texts of translations and original texts of obscure poets that it would be virtually impossible to find in print. These texts are best read in pdf or online facsimile versions of the original text. I can still see the artistic fonts and page designs. Do I long for the actual book? Sure. Do I realize I would be extremely lucky to ever find one and would have to pay through the nose to buy one (or be limited to borrowing one from a library)? Also sure. I'm happy for the access to digitized texts of books I can't acquire, but I will still visit used bookstores and snap up copies of anything I might want that is within my price range. And for recently published books (in the last 70 or so years...) or even for books that are widely known and for which there are books available, I prefer a hard copy whenever I can get one. But I'm happy to have access to good scans of books in Dutch and French (or old translations) of the books I'd love to own but can't.

Ms. P said...

Anon - please introduce yourself if you would like to be part of the conversation. I stand by my word choice. I cannot hold a pdf. I can hold a Nook that displays a digital book, but I can not dog-ear the story's pages, and its title page cannot be signed by its author.

Of course you can use both in your life and enjoy both, but I trust that my readers understand that.

Sheila and Dr. D - Thanks for your points of view. And thanks for the link, Dr. D, I'll use that in my classroom for sure.

Kate & Keith said...

Sorry, Leigh. I am the second Anon!

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