It sort of eluded me until now, to be honest. I had trouble pinpointing the exact reason. I knew it didn't feel right, but I didn't know why. I wasn't sure whether it was that new book smell, which enraptures readers everywhere, or something else... so I shelved the issue.
But I was just reading some ee cummings poetry online (fun fact: my favorite poets are ee cummings and Robert Frost), and I had an epiphany. Actually, the poem is still open in another tab. Let me state what I see when I click back over to it:
1) A link to the site's home page
2) Today's date, provided by the site
3) Links to "About," "Love Poems," "Song Lyrics," "Inspirational," and... um, "Links."
4) Search box
6) A Smokey the Bear ad helpfully informing me that only I can prevent wildfires
7) A biography of e.e.cummings below the poem
8) Oh, right - the poem.
So I stared at the poem and I tried to focus on the words and I thought to myself, jeez, this feels so cluttered. I really wish I had a book of e.e.cummings poetry, because this just ain't cutting it.
And then I realized why I love books so much more than eBooks. It's because they have one purpose - to be a book.
A book is not advertising products or linking you up to other authors with similar styles. It's just a book.
A book is not categorizing and listing every book you own so you can scroll through and check out your whole library, all at once. It's just a book.
A book is not recording which books you have and haven't read, or how far you are through X book and how many times you've read it... It's just a book.
And a book is not trying to lead you back to an eBook store where you can merrily purchase more novels.
It's just a book.
It is words and it is paper. It has one purpose to serve, and that purpose is to transmit the writing.
I have an extremely short attention span. Few things suck me in these days like books do. I even have trouble writing sometimes, because I can switch so easily from Microsoft Word to the internet.
I don't want that to happen to my books. I want them to stay just books, items that serve exactly one purpose. "Read me," they say. "Read me now. Do nothing else." And I sit down, and I do.
To integrate that solace with my crazy, loud, interactive, schizophrenic, wacky digital life feels like blasphemy.
And that is why I am a backwards sort of girl who will not make the switch.
Are you also backwards? Or are you looking forward? Regardless of whether you've ePubbed - do you own an eReader? Are you planning to, or are you a stubborn son of a gun like me?
All the best,