At times it seems the ebook, and ereaders (brands will only be mentioned if we get a kickback), has taken over the world. This has led many people to speculate that this could mean the end of the book.
The good thing about ebooks is you can read them on your phone or ereader and take hundreds of books on the go with you without breaking your back. There is also the fact that no one can tell what you’re reading, as there is no cover visible, so if you want to read something that could be deemed embarrassing in the middle of a crowded tube carriage no one will be any the wiser. After all, ‘Harry Potter’ might well be acceptable for a self-respecting adult to read, but it would be our expectation that anyone reading a ‘Twilight’ book in the open would rightly deserve to be tarred and feathered.
However, with books you have something you can hold, lend to a friend without checking the FAQs beforehand, and there is just the sheer beauty that a well bound book can provide. On a pure geeky point-of-view, I (Michelle) have several different editions of ‘The Lord of the Rings’ – from the hardcover illustrated versions by Alan Lee to the boxset split into seven separate books. I love seeing these on my bookshelf and in general browsing a shelf, good bookshop or library can calm me and pull me out of a bad mood. Browsing through my ereader doesn’t do this at all.
Not to mention a book will never ever tell you that you have to plug into a power-source before its battery dies and you’re stuck twiddling your thumbs on the aforementioned tube carriage.
We both have ereaders, both of us taking them to work, but there is a certain, ‘bookiness’, to books. A feel, a heft, a smell, that we find we cannot cope without. Physical books are a kind of comfort blanket and ‘the tale of Genji’ can also be used to incapacitate intruders.