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.

Long regarded as a print buyer expert and trade writer, Margie Dana launched her new business in 2013 as a marketing communications strategist with a specialty in printing and print buying. Now she’s on a mission to help clients build customer communities through carefully crafted content.

You may know Margie as the producer of the annual Print & Media Conference. Although she’s exited the event production business, she’s still publishing her Print Tips newsletter. She looks forward to helping companies create and style all of their content so their potential customers sit up and take notice. For details and to sign up for her Print Tips and new marketing blog, visit or e-mail Margie at
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  • Michael Jahn

    Great advice ! I will sell my car and buy a horse too !

  • Mark Ruhnke

    Great advise! I agree with everything above, and books don’t ruin your eyes trying to read them (like backlit screens do), and it’s extremely hard to get someone to autograph thier autobiography on an i-pad!

  • steedmrspeel

    Yes!! A wonderful post, Margie! You and I are on the same wavelength!

  • vgpw

    Margie, great post and I totally agree. There is no way to read an ipad on the beach because of the sun, but then you also worry about the sand getting in the crevices as well. My number one preference is audio books, I usually listen to them when I work out, but if I am reading a book it has to be a paper version.

  • Terri

    I 100% agree. Even though I love my Ipad for many things, I still read real books (and many times I read them in the sun). Bookstores and libraries are my friends.