This excerpt from author Joe Queenan’s new book, “One for the Books,” was published in the Huffington Post Books section and it has us thinking about the future of e-books and physical books. Our favorite part:
The tangible reality of books defines us, just as the handwritten scrolls of the Middle Ages defined the monks who concealed them from barbarians. We believe that the objects themselves have magical powers. People who prefer e-books may find this baffling or silly. They think that books merely take up space. This is true, but so do your children and Prague and the Sistine Chapel.
He goes on to talk about his father’s last years and what he found when he went to clean out his father’s apartment after his death:
As his life wound down, he had shed all the trifles one does not need in this world. There was nothing on television that could possibly mean anything to him. There was nothing he could hang on the walls that would make any difference now. But his books still mattered to him, just as they had mattered when he was young and full of hope, before alcohol got its hooks into him. His books still held out the hope of doing a far, far better thing than he had ever done, of going to a far, far better rest than any he had ever known. His books allowed him to cling to dreams that would never materialize. Books had not enabled him to succeed. But they had mitigated the pain of failure.
Powerful. Read the whole excerpt here and let us know: do you, just as Queenan does, believe in the power of physical books, or does the convenience of e-books soothe you just as much?