Sunday, October 13, 2013

Another Argument for Real Books Vs. Kindle

     My brother is fairly industrious, at least he tries to be. He has had several decent ideas in the past for assorted websites to create, though he seems to lack the motivation to market said sites after creating them. Yesterday he pitched a new idea to me by saying, "You know that electronics site that I buy from mainly because they accept bitcoins? There are several sites like it that each specialize in different items." I just look at him waiting for him to proceed. "There aren't any that sell books." Still no response as I wait for him to get to his point. "We should make one."

     Finally, I reply with, "Where would we get the money to buy stock? Theoretically, if we had reliable transportation, we could list the books and just go buy what we needed to fill an order, but we don't. We would need to have stock on hand."

     He looked at my bookshelf, "We could start with those, sell used books." I must have had a horrified look on my face because he quickly added, "We would replace them with NEW books if we did sell them."

     I rushed to the bookshelf, protectively. I pointed to Whispers by Dean Koontz and said, "This was mom's. It was too creepy for her so she gave it to me. It was the first Koontz book I ever read." I point to Lawrence Sander's McNally series and say, "These were grandma's. I do have a duplicate set that I might be willing to part with that are mine, but these were hers." I point to my collection of Stephen King books. "These came from the Stephen King Library, a book club that sent me a new book of his every month. While they could probably be replaced, THESE have bookplates in them. Bookplates that mom bought me. She gave me bookplates every year for Christmas because it is my system to put a bookplate inside the front cover when I finished reading a book. This is how I keep track of whether or not I have read a book yet." I gesture towards the first few Harry Potter books, "these were Betty's (my oldest daughter), I claimed them when she moved out and left them behind. I don't want NEW books, I want THESE books."

     It was his turn to be dumbfounded and mystified at the emotional value I had placed in my collection of books. I could have gone on all evening moving from the bookshelf in the living room, to the ones in the dining room and the shelves in the hallway, office, and my room. The poor guy was crestfallen that I didn't take to his idea, he had even researched domain name availability.

     I also pointed out the fact that I'm not ready to hop on the bitcoin bandwagon. The exchange rate fluctuates so much, and even though logically I realize most of this is due to the fact that the value of the dollar is actually varying, I still cannot put my trust in the bitcoin.

     I won't bore you with more of this conversation as it doesn't really pertain to the point that I had meant to make in this post. While the Kindle has spoiled me and I find myself often thinking that a real book is so heavy or my arms are tired from trying to hold up a heavy tome while reading in bed, there is an emotional value that can be attached to real books that makes them priceless.

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