Beginning The End Of Bookends?

Signs indicate, the times are a-changin’ relative to “paper books”.  Some booksellers have already closed their doors.   This morning the purveyors of the News (most news is bad news and I often long for “no news”), the almighty Media, reported that sales of e-books have now exceeded sales of  the paper version.

What really upsets me (possibly all the way to an irk) is that the groups who have an agenda against paper (the plastic-based electronics-sellers for one, and the fanatic “environmentalist whackos” for another) have unfairly and disgustingly spun the name for traditional books.   The Media, in their unquestioned shameless wisdom, now call them “the dead tree versions” of novels.  The purpose of such a lack of respect seems to be to hasten traditional books’ demise.  I don’t know about you, but that saddens me and also makes me stand in protest.

I’m not necessarily an opponent of e-books, or e-readers either.  The plain, boring, yet convenient (think  TV dinners and boxed wine) hand-held-petrochemical version of books probably has its place too.  After all, you are not reading my rantings from a paper-style medium.  However, last time I checked, paper was made from the scraps of trees harvested for lumber or grown specifically for pulpwood.  It is a renewable, sustainable resource, where the oil used to manufacture plastics isn’t.  Additionally, how do novelists expect to make decent money on their work when the digital world is so insecure?  Unlawful “sharing” (read “theft”) of copyrighted material is showing its evil face already.

When I publish my Great American Novel it will most likely be e-style, although I always dreamed it would be something with a colorful jacket that people could hold, and turn over, and see more words and colorful pictures on the back .  I hope it will be a real “page-turner”.  I wish those pages could be felt in the fingers; be seen and heard while being turned until the last, mystery-solving, plot-resolving, evil-defeating, paper page is on top.  I would also hope that one could dog-ear an inspiring page, or underline an important sentence, or highlight a burning truth, or use an interesting, colorful, bookmark that you received as a gift, or store pictures, letters, and  leaves from one’s child, pressed between the pages.  

I can’t imagine having a Bible without those qualities.  Can you?

Today’s news suggests that it is almost certain that, sometime in the future, there will be no more new paper-based books, and probably no paper at all.  That prospect for mankind just seems like a huge cultural loss.

Copyright © by Gloryteller 4-18-2011  All rights reserved.

10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Hazel I. Moon
    Apr 20, 2011 @ 19:14:15

    Thank you for your thought provoking post! I do not have one of those e-readers, (yet) who knows? Maybe some day! I love my Bible with the notes and underlines, but I also have a Bible on my computer, “E-Sword” which I use to copy and past scriptures to my Blog Posts. Recently I have purchased several paper books, and I would literally hate to see all the Book Stores close. I do not expect to write a book, and for now I am content to post a story to my blog, almost every week day. A Joyful Noise with an inspiration built in. My recent post: “I am Not God” but after reconsidering, I think I must speak for Him from time to time!! 🙂


    • gloryteller
      Apr 20, 2011 @ 21:42:50

      Hazel, I’m relatively new to the blogosphere, so I’m happy to have actually provoked some thought. Thank you for joining the discussion. That is what makes this fun. You have a good blog site, so keep on speaking up for the LORD. Evangelism and apologetics are important callings in Christ’s church.
      May God bless and keep you.

  2. laura
    Apr 20, 2011 @ 11:25:17

    Well, this just makes me smile. I downloaded two books to my kindle just the other day. They were books I needed for research RIGHT NOW, and so you are right about the convenience. BUt…

    I prefer the paper version. For me, reading is still very much a sense-driven experience. I love the smell of the book, the feel of the book, the sound of a page turning. 🙂

    I do have a Bible downloaded to my kindle, and my phone also. But, funny, I don’t used these unless I absolutely have to.

    I guess these will coexist peacefully. I think there are good elements to both.


    • gloryteller
      Apr 20, 2011 @ 20:55:10

      Yes, the two forms of books should coexist peacefully. I only hope the unfairly slanted ploy of calling our beloved paper-based volumes “the dead tree version” has no effect on public opinion. Thanks very much for your visit, Laura, and for adding to the discussion. God be with you always.

  3. journeytoepiphany
    Apr 19, 2011 @ 11:03:07

    My mother and I were just discussing e-books versus paper books. Even as environmentalists, (or as Christians maybe a better word would be Stewards) we must realize that electronic books take up energy. And as you wisely stated last time we checked paper is recycle-able. So really, aren’t books in the end, kinder to the environment? I like paper. I like leather bound covers. I also understand that as an author, I need to consider e-publishing, although I do it kicking and screaming.


    • gloryteller
      Apr 19, 2011 @ 12:43:04

      It seems to be a hot topic lately! Yes, stewards. Stewards of our environment, of our culture and heritage, of our language and literature, and of our gifts, all on both the secular and spiritual planes. Ouch, that hurt my head to formulate, hehe. I agree with your ideas and thank you for your visit. It is hard to visit all our friends’ sites in the blogosphere and still have time left for the realsphere and the familysphere as well as composing for and maintaining our own blogs. It’s a real juggling act for me, where I keep dropping the ball! ROFL!
      May epiphanies keep on coming! God bless.

  4. Carol Ann Hoel
    Apr 19, 2011 @ 10:47:18

    I doubt that paper books will ever be obsolete. I do not yet own an e-reader, but I want one. I have a Bible app on my phone. This app and my use of an online Bible website have entirely replaced my trips through the pages of a paper Bible. Yet, I certainly want one on my shelves. Who knows when our connection to the Internet may be temporarily down or permanently disconnected. We need our paper books, if for no other reason, for backup. Blessings to you…


    • gloryteller
      Apr 19, 2011 @ 12:24:28

      Amen, Carol, I hope you are right. I have several Bibles, but my fave is the one I keep with me all the time. I make notes in it and underline verses when something new is revealed to me. There’s a wealth of information in that one! Thanks for your insights and for your visit. Blessings right back!

  5. gloryteller
    Apr 19, 2011 @ 08:40:30

    Yes, books made from paper seem REAL, whereas the “petrochemical” kinds seem somehow UNREAL to me as yet. Real books have a charm and presence that e-readers will have a hard time matching, but the manufacturers could go a long way toward that with a little effort. (And probably make them way more expensive in the process). LOL. Thanks for contributing your insights, Marcie. Your visits are always important and special to me. =)


  6. MarcieB
    Apr 19, 2011 @ 07:35:44

    Oh dear, I own one of those nasty, disgusting e-readers!! However, i will never give up my old paper versions of my favorite books. They are my friends, the ones I turn to first. I can’t imagine my Bible being anything but the one my grandmother gave me years ago. I still buy my grandsons books. Real, made from paper to be read anytime books. Somehow taking a Nook or a Kindle to a secret hide out and reading the afternoon away doesn’t seem right. Oh well, time marches on. I for one am fighting it all the way!


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