Books are not things to be picked up, used at leisure and thrown away. They are eternally faithful companions who have to be cherished, loved and taken care of. Sadly, these wonderful friends are being replaced by horrors called eBooks. Every bibliophile out there will agree with me that eBooks not only make reading less pleasurable, but they also simultaneously destroy the very essence and purpose of a book.
One might argue that it is merely words and that the source of the material does not matter as long as you can read it. But asking a true lover of paperbacks to embrace digital words is akin to asking a person who relishes meat to survive on tofu for years.
A book must not be just read but should be experienced. One should touch a book’s spine and understand its desire to be read; one should inhale deeply the heady scent of freshly printed pages before actually proceeding to the written material.
Merely comprehending the words of the author will not suffice. Every word upon the page should be tasted and enjoyed. One must transport themselves into the book and experience the elation, the turmoil, or the sorrow of the characters upon paper. You must fly with the dragons, duel with the wizards or escape to outer space when flicking through the pages.
One’s book is one’s own and I feel that eBooks destroy that sense of ownership and pride. Honestly, I can’t get as excited about seeing a whole lot of icons with various titles upon a screen as seeing a shelf full of paperbacks in myriad shapes and colours which is a feast for the book lover’s heart. Your own collection is unique, for your books will be imprinted with your essence and experience. eBooks sadly seem to lack the exceptional quality of absorbing essences.
It is disappointing that no one seems to want to appreciate the beauty of the written word anymore. In this world full of worn down, over-worked people, few find time to spend with books. However, there is little to compare to the elation that lifts one’s heart upon curling up in one’s favourite spot with a fat book in hand after a long day’s work.
R. SUCHITHA, XII, PSBB Senior Secondary School, Nungambakkam
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