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Catch 22

The whole ebook vs real book argument must have been fought thousands of times by now over the Internet and on the shelves of bookshops all across the world, but I didn’t really take any notice of it until this morning.

I’ve never felt so unwieldy. Rummaging through my rucksack, bits of paper going everywhere, phone falling on the floor, bus going around the roundabout, head hitting the stop button – well I finally emerged with an almost decade-old version of Catch-22, by no means the smallest book on the bookshelf. After all that palaver I glanced across at the woman sitting next to me, looking smug with her small e-book reader thingy that probably matched her grey, monotonous personality. I wonder what she was reading?

Another thrilling marketing escapade, no doubt.

I felt an air of contempt coming from her. I thought that she thought I was probably weird with this archaic dead tree in my hands. Well, you know what, they’re better, aren’t they?

Most of the influential reading I’ve ever done has been on the pages of real books, borrowed books at that. From Orwell to Tolkien my life philosophies and grandest adventures have been forged from dusty old pages, not black and white screens. On screens is where I chat rubbish with friends or…do work.

I reckon people have technology fatigue, and I don’t think the stories they’re reading are getting in their heads properly.

99% of words emanating from a screen go right over my head (not really, boss) but books…actual physical books. That’s where you get things to stick.

Plus, you can’t prop up things with ebooks – unless you wanted to buy 20 or so of the latest ‘slimline’ reader, and that would cost you thousands. You don’t see the Yellow Pages girl standing on a bunch of tablets to give away her kiss.

I embrace technology, I love it, but this is definitely one fad that should die out.

The next time you’re out, take a fiver into the local second-hand bookstore and come out with a wealth of intrigue and knowledge in your hands.

The book is not dead, long live the book.

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