My Book Doesn’t Break When I Drop It
It was an epiphany that sprang from a clumsy mishap. While charging up both my MacBook Pro and my iPad last week in Chicago, and gingerly stepping over both cables as I packed up to head home, the latter slid off the bed in my hotel room and dropped to the floor. The USB power adaptor split into several pieces. Uh oh!
Having this happen right before a 2.5-hour flight home to Boston (not to mention a three-hour wait in the airport) couldn’t have been more inconvenient.
Then it hit me: If it had been a book, I wouldn’t be in this predicament. I literally laughed at the irony. Here I was, finishing up our Print & Media Conference, where people who work with print gather to learn and network, and my bulging-with-content iPad crashes and burns, temporarily.
It reminded me why I love real books:
- They don’t break.
- You can read them on the beach or in bed (or anywhere else, for that matter).
- You don’t have to turn them off and put them away when you get on a plane.
- They don’t need to be powered up.
- You can share books with friends easily.
- They’re cheap to mail.
- If you lose a book, or you happen to drop one in the bathtub, no big deal. Spend $10 or $20 typically, and you can replace it.
Don’t get me started on the sentimental value of my books. How about my 17-year-old son’s early books from when he was a toddler? I’ve kept the best. They will always remind me of the hours we spent together, reading and rereading them. The bright illustrations on the covers alone make me tear up (if ever the Yiddish term verklempt was appropriate, it would be now).
And how about the signed copies of books from authors I respect and know personally? You can’t replicate that in an eBook.