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Saturday, May 16, 2020

Slow Shift: From Paperback to E-books

Credits: art by Mom
The physical presence of the book in our hand, the scent of the time-tested old copy wafting to our senses as we caress the worn out jacket with so many creases, which seems like the copy wants a crease for every fond reader who read it, the tinted print paper with words crafted in Garamond, an old-school appeal of the paperback and hard-bound: we all love it. 

Or, for some of them, a fresh, crisp copy- with no scribbles, no creases, no bent pages, the fresh scent of new print where the ink can still be smelt, a copy that's theirs and only theirs- is something to be loved, adored, and cherished. 

Nothing can replace it. Agreed. Yet, we have to slowly shift to the world where we buy more e-books than physical copies. Why? Here are three good reasons.

1. Save paper. The more you are willing to buy, the more they are willing to print. And, tens of thousands of people buy it, and they print tens of thousands of more copies. And, that's a whole lot of paper, there. The world is inching towards less and less resources every single day, and you can do your bit to reduce such wastage. When you think from this angle, even the most ardent fan of physical copies tend to pause and think for a moment. Do that: pause, and think a bit.

2. You never have to give away your books. You'll have them with you, and you don't have to think about a space for them. It's definitely more efficient in terms of how you can manage your books! No more do you have to worry and bother about your books not fitting within you air baggage allowance, voila!

3. Notes, Highlights, Quotes- the three best features of e-books. You can save all of them in a manner that you just need to do a key-word search to get them out in a jiffy. This can be really useful to those of us who write regularly. Vaguely remember a quote from The Little Prince on life? You'll have it ready. This is such a beautiful thing, and I really enjoy looking through these highlights and notes of the e-books I read. Amazon Kindle is great, and it neatly arranges the highlights and notes under a tab for each book. I also really like how Google Play Books creates a drive folder, and makes all the highlights and notes in a document, with each book having a different document. Such arrangement is a huge repository of wonderful, ready insights and key-points when you need them!

We are all human, and we all love to flaunt. If you sit in the class reading an Anthony Powell, it is sure to attract eyes and amp up your social image, while reading the same as an e-book won't really bring that much attention. We all love that attention, even if we aren't reading the book because of the attention. Even otherwise, we love to collect, display what we read, have a wall full of books, and all that- but times change, and the need of the world changes, and we must change, too. 

Buy from a sale of old-stock of books, but try avoiding a fresh copy. If your grand-dad has a great library, that's wonderful! Keep it. But, try to shift slowly into more e-books when you plan to buy something anyway. The supply will go down if the demand does, and that's definitely in your hands. If you still want a physical copy of something, get it, but don't make it a habit. 

I have started reading more through e-books now, and I have actually grown a liking to it. Take your time, shift slowly, but shift- because it definitely helps!

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