The death of print (just kidding!)

by mollykl

The compact disc is dead. So for that matter is the cassette tape. We all know the 8-track went the way of the Dodo ages ago (I’m sure I have co-workers who don’t even know what an 8-track tape is.) Vinyl is only still viable because it’s actually much more durable than the nice CD-making people at Sony led us to believe, and purists still cling to “that” sound.

I stopped buying music in tangible form about two years ago. I only buy mp3’s, and back up religiously (well, I don’t – husband J does). On my way to the store today I wondered, does anyone still buy cd’s? And if so, why? What a complete waste – of money (paying for plastic?), resources (ditto) and space (’cause you gotta put them somewhere.) It boggles my mind. I have a virtual music library that would take up half a room, and I can access it at any time.

So why don’t I feel the same about e-books? In an attempt to cure myself of my prejudice against electronic books I wrote about them for a paper – looked at pros and cons, and came out of it deciding that they weren’t the end of the world as I knew it. I also thought that if I had the money I might really like one of them thar little Kindle doo-hickies.

And yet… it’s still there, the feeling that it’s not really a book. Husband J, when asked about the subject, said that we feel that way because we assign a different value to books than we do to music. I’m not sure I agree with him. I am completely devoted to my “Stravinsky conducts Stravinsky” recording of “The Firebird” and it certainly merits more devotion than some of the crap I read, yet it exists in a purely digital form whereas the other sits on my bookshelf existing in more tangible form.

After moving 30 boxes of books, and the accompanying bookshelves, I’m probably more predisposed to an e-book reader. I have this fabulous notion of owning a Kindle and just keeping my first editions and the books with sentimental value. But then, I think, I’d have to pay to acquire the books in electronic form, when I’ve already paid for them.