Thursday, March 5, 2015

Old and New

A frank confession- I consider myself old-fashioned. How old-fashioned? I always prefer print books over e-books. Always have, always will. Why? There are numerous logical and applicable reasons. From here on out, I'll be referring print books as simply"print" and e-books as simply "e".

I finished Robert Mullin's debut novel, Bid the Gods Arise, during the end of last school year. It was brilliantly done... yet it was also an e. I thought nothing of it until I looked into the print recently on, and it turns out that the chapter headings have an artistic style to them that's not in the print. That is not the only case, either. With JC Lamont's Prophecy of the Heir, the e does not have the map nor chapter headings that the print does, so the story is interesting, but the inherent creativity is left to dry.

I know, I know. With print, people complain about heaving a large collection of paper, so there's a lot of internet jokes about how immense print can be (Tolstoy's "Moyna Y Mir" anyone?), yet the e is slim or slimmer, depending on which e reader you have. However, not all print have to be thick, regardless of how many pages. There are numerous editions of the same book, so it's not that size is really a big matter (no pun intended). In fact, last year, Stephen King released Under the Dome in mass market paperback in two volumes, both with their own unique cover artwork.
For me, when it comes to size, if you have a sizable print, you're showing the public you're not afraid of taking your time with a story. With an e, people really won't have a clue how big the book is unless you tell them.

With an e, all the books you have are on the Cloud. If you read a book and have the same habit I have, you'll delete it when you're done. If you do, then you'll end up buying it again when you want to read it if you feel like easter egg hunting the book for things you missed (people are doing that 10+ years after the first Harry Potter book came out and are still finding things they never knew despite reading it over and over, making it the YA version of Fight Club the movie).
With print, however, you can show off your collection with no shame. At the time of this blog, I have 119 books (including almost 20 rare books and rare editions), and it gives more color when on a shelf than... say... one single e reader.

Sure, the e are always going to be cheaper (sometimes, even free), but when one wants to show support for an author, whether already uber-popular or new and under-the-radar, it can be worth the extra splurging for the print and the wait for shipping (if you bought it online) or the wait in-store.

In relation to jokes about a print's bulk, there's a reciprocal joke about an e's life. Life being an e's battery lifespan. My kindle had a normal span of standby life. Even on standby, if it were unplugged, it would slowly drain, then drain a little quicker when it was on. I began to get a little irritated when I realized I kept tabs on how much battery life my e had left when I was reading any e. With print, all one has to do is be weather-conscious to make sure the pages will be good. That and make sure your hands are clean. Sure, there's time and aging for a print's pages to start yellowing, but that's the natural process for fiber to show its age, which, one could say, makes any kindle look like it will always be wet behind the ears, regardless of how classic the story is.

As far as I've come in reading books and checking out e, anyone can say what they will, yet at this point, I'll be sticking with print.