Save the Books!

There is an alarming trend occurring in our society. More and more books are being committed to a nonexistent state. Some of them never to see life in print. How can we trust humanities greatest literary works to the digital ether? We have organizations to Save the whales and to save this or that landmark but who will save the books?

 I am not tech savvy. Technology hates me.  I will never be jumping on the E-book band wagon. But, you ask, how can a writer who relies on the internet for publication argue against E-Books? A printer I say. I print everything. Hard copy, hard copy, hard copy, that is the key to preservation.

 The greatest achievement in human history is the Book. The printed word. Not this new fad of downloading electronic books onto portable electronic devices. Nothing can replace the feel of a page between your fingers or the smell of aged book paper.

 Technology is fallible. It will let you down. But words safely written, typed, or printed onto good paper. They will always be there. It’s true that paper decays, becomes brittle, grows mold, and yes, it can even burn. But drives can be erased, Information deleted, computers crash and power go out. Both systems have their faults and both, some would argue, offer advantages.

 Books are idiot proof. Somehow even an illiterate seems to know how they work.

Step one open.

Step two stare into it.

Step three turn the page.

Repeat steps two and three until end.

 You never have to wait for a book to charge or boot up or download. They don’t require batteries, headphones or fancy cases to store them in. No extended warranty needed.

Books will never crash or loose a signal or be disconnected from a network. Once the printed word is in your hand you have total access to it. No IP address needed. No 404 errors, no redirection and no passwords to remember.

 I love books. Let’s keep printing books. Let’s keep making lots of copies. Let’s make sure that the next generation knows what Old books smell like.

Never let the books die.

 Here’s a challenge for everyone who reads this post: Go out and find a real life paper version of Ray Bradbury’s classic sci-fi novel Fahrenheit 451. DO NOT DOWNLOAD IT. Go to the library, a bookstore, borrow it from a friend maybe you already own it, just make sure it’s a book. Hold it in your hand. Then read it. If you’ve read it before then read it again. Enjoy it. Learn from it. Treasure it. Save it

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