Question All Things #10 by Blacksun



Dear Janice,
You know, I hope, that I am a great admirer of yours.  I have enjoyed your brilliant mind and articulate teaching style and I join many, many others in saying thanks for the gifts of learning you have bestowed on the Pagan community for many years.


I must question your misplaced nostalgic sentiment (Panegyria, Feb., 2013) concerning the printed book over the recent advent of the glorious e-book readers.


How could you?!  J
Now, you can carry half of the Seattle Library in one hand!  Your child can carry 20 lbs. of junk food in their backpack instead of their schoolbooks!  A homeless street person can read their favorite Twilight saga in one hand while drinking from their brown paper bag with the other (I saw this).  This is progress!!!


We don’t have to chop down ten acres of trees every time Stephen King writes something.  Nor do we have to waist gas driving back to the library just because a book needs to be returned before midnight that day.  And e-books cost less.  Bookaholics can now better afford their two-books-a-day habits!
I foresee a day in which no book shall be judged by its cover (only by how many stars it receives by those hired to review it on Amazon).  And no paper-and-ink book ever automatically knew what page you last read.  My e-book reader will even allow me to write notes about what I’ve read (but, somehow, I still get squeamish writing in books of any kind) and look up big words if I don’t know the meaning.  No more spending an hour just rambling through a dictionary and forgetting what word you originally wanted to find.


And don’t try to convince me you haven’t spent hours getting lost in a dictionary or encyclopedia doing just that – getting lost.  I’ll bet that when you were a kid, you were one of THOSE kids… always going to the library instead of pitching pennies in back alleys, digging into the FOREIGN section instead of looking at the pictures in Life Magazine!
I know your kind:  You are one of those… those NERDS!  You get all sweaty when you walk by a Barnes & Noble store, don’t you?  You ask the lady in the perfume section of Macy’s if they have Eau de Book Mold on sale that month, right?  You probably named your dog after a font type (“come here, Helvetica”) and you measure things in points of type (“You’ve grown 24 points this month, Johnny”).  Instead of black velvet pictures of Elvis, you decorate your walls with the back sides of books.  You probably are proud to display walls and walls of books, aren’t you?  For all you know, your house would fall down if you took all those printed books out it.  Wake up and smell the electronics, Janice!  Books are NOT a construction material!


If you get your jollies by trailing your fingers over leather spines as you walk along a library aisle, go ahead; it’s a harmless perversion.  If you want to smile wistfully every time you walk into the great Reading Room in Suzzallo Library on the UW campus, be my guest; the librarians are used to it.
But don’t expect me to act like that.  I will be using my index finger like Ron Weasley’s wand, swishing and flicking my way through pages and other worthwhile ventures (like Angry Birds).  I’ll be adjusting the contrast level and font size (ha! you can’t do that with a paper book, can you?).


Of course, it is kind of a hassle to loan out an e-book.  And, since different readers with different displays and different font and page sizes now makes it nearly impossible to tell a person what page to look on for a reference, I don’t know how any citation can happen using it.  But that doesn’t matter; I’m not interested in writing academic papers anyway.  All I want to do is to find the page near the front that had the map of the fantasy lands and where the gronkiddodles live.
It would be (he grabs a paper-and-ink version) so much easier if I could just fan through the pages like in this real book.  Of course, I’d probably get distracted by… oh, look at this…



Question All Things #10 by Blacksun — 1 Comment

  1. the only challenge is to the consistency of the e-book. It is much harder, if not impossible, to detect such ‘editing’ of content you have never seen before …

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