By Aisling O’Connor
With the rise of the kindle, tablets, and the iPad I find myself clinging to books more and more. I’m not the kind of person who has a snobbish attitude towards e-readers because reading is great on all forums (unless you’re on the bad side of a fan-fiction site… then I’m taking a few steps away from you) but I personally prefer books. I like carrying what I’m reading around college, organising my bookshelf when procrastinating and sighing wistfully at the fact that my actual goals for the future is to have a library worth of books in my house. I love old book smell, cute book marks from Book Depository, and the little indents on the spine of a well-read book. I find turning the pages to be a more pleasant experience than swiping a screen and I can only look at electronics for so long until my eyes start to burn. I love book shops, going through the shelves, talking about the ones I’ve read and want to read. I walk around with a book list on my phone and it only seems to grow and yet I always impulse buy books that aren’t even on it.
Like always, one thing supplants another. CDs replaced cassettes, which replaced vinyl. Now people don’t even buy CDs anymore (and my sentiment towards CDs is similar to the books). Record stores are almost renowned at this point for struggling to stay in business, as far as I know, book shops are not in a peril like that but it’s a scary thought. I saw a short film a few months ago called “The Last Bookstore” which was set in a world where books had become obsolete and absolutely everything was digital. A young boy discovers it and as it turns out, was the first person to enter in years. The line that got me the most was when the shopkeeper said he recalls queuing outside a shop at midnight for a book about a wizard. Maybe I’m over thinking here, as far as I know books aren’t in danger of dying out but I would be devastated to see a world like that. I’d be a hypocrite to say that I’m against technology because I perhaps spend too much time on the internet, but I’d hate to see everything lost to it too.
I understand that it’s much easier to have everything stored on the one device, I can’t exactly carry around my bookshelf and having several books in your bag isn’t a pleasant experience. I have to go to the library, a shop, or check online if there’s a certain book I want to read. I realize the convenience of a tablet but when I’m reading something online, regardless of what it is, I struggle to get into it. On the other hand, if you give me a really good book I could be so engrossed that I struggle to pull myself away. So for me, I’ll stick to my paper backs and maybe one day my library house dream will be a reality.