First, I want to explain what I mean by "real books". I recently read an article titled "From Scroll to Screen", which described the author, Lev Grossman's look at the evolution of literature over time, from the simple scroll of the early ages, on to the codex, and now past paper itself into the new e-readers, and whether this is a good thing. "On the one hand, the e-book is far more compact and portable than the codex, almost absurdly so. E-books are also searchable, and they’re green, or greenish anyway. On the other hand the codex requires no batteries, and no electronic display has yet matched the elegance, clarity and cool matte comfort of a printed page." Now I am not an extremist to either view, I have copies of e-readers on my electronic devices, and have purchased a number of e-books for them over time. However I have been since I was a little an avid bookworm, with a love of books, and to me I really found myself relating with the last lines of this quote, as there is just something that will never replace the enjoyment of having a tangible ink and paper book in your hands with its new book smell, and be able to sit down with it and turn each page yourself, noticing the differences in font, style, or even ink color that many authors employ from chapter to chapter.
I found this article to be very interesting, and realized that it presented concepts I had never taken the time to think about, but really agreed with. Such as the difference in linear style that comes from making the switch from paper to electronic. "But if we stop reading on paper, we should keep in mind what we’re sacrificing: that nonlinear experience, which is unique to the codex. You don’t get it from any other medium — not movies, or TV, or music or video games. The codex won out over the scroll because it did what good technologies are supposed to do: It gave readers a power they never had before, power over the flow of their own reading experience." I personally am the kind of person who loves to go back and re-read my favorite parts of a book, and so I definitely agreed with what Grossman had to say in the last paragraphs of the article as this is something that is at least right now lost in the switch, as flipping through and e-book in this same way is often to me a painful process.
Though there are pros and cons on both sides, this article was neat to me in that it reaffirmed my opinion, that we should never abandon our beloved print books altogether!