An ebook is not a book.

Print print digital printCan we find a word other than “book” as a descriptive for the digital version of glue-and-paper? The word “book” is way too loaded for those who profess a love of “that new book smell” and their reactionary hatred of digital delivery.

Print books and digital book are two completely different species. They don’t have to compete. They shouldn’t try to compete. Yes, the content is the same. Yes, the delivery system makes all the difference in the reading experience.

Consider the reading evolution:

Handhewn tablet → papyrus scroll → parchment leaves → illuminated manuscripts → Gutenberg Bible → mass market paperback → computer.

None of those are the same epistemologically or anatomically, so why is the progression to reading digitized text on a handheld device difficult to accept?

Just as a tablet is not a scroll, and a scroll is not an illuminated bundle of leaves, and an illuminated bundle of leaves is not a ream of paper saddlestitched and bound in leather. It is an electronic method of getting to text.

An ebook is not supposed to be like a printed book. Expecting it to be invites frustration on everybody’s part, and completely misses the point

The book is dead. Long live the book.

Had a very instructive morning, dear boys and girls. The power in my neighborhood went out for a while.

The devil! you say. No, truly, it did. No lights, no TV (poor Dude and Dude’s daily recordings), no stove (electric, ptooey), no dishwasher, no washing machine or dryer (not like I personally use those things), no hot water (after what’s left is gone), no Internet (gasp!), and, my personal favorite, no data because my laptop went on battery immediately, but I keep everything on my grab’n’run emergency preparedness external hard drive.


So what did I do? Went hunting for my eBookWise. That’s right. I’d had it charging and it was all fresh and ready to go, but what would happen after my charge ran out in 12 to 15 hours (depending on what light level I had it set on)? I would not be able to read, that’s what would happen. And I would thus be forced back to dead-tree books.

And writing long-hand on lined paper. (Er, well, I do that anyway.)

Take away from this what you will, but while I am still a pusher of electronically transmitted stories, nothing but nothing will take the place of dead-tree books.