Tony Hine forwarded this blog post about a potential end result of e-books: e-book collecting.
People who reject e-books often say they can't live without the heft, the texture and — curiously — the scent of traditional books.
No less a reader than the cultural critic Walter Benjamin, as card-carrying a man of letters as the world has ever seen, savored the physicality of books. In his 1931 essay "Unpacking My Library: A Talk About Book Collecting" — Benjamin turns euphoric while surveying his dusty books. He's enchanted by each one: "the period, the region, the craftsmanship, the former ownership." In acquiring books, often in mock-heroic ways, he says he has managed "to renew the Old World."
So how do I display or otherwise admire all these books I keep buying for the Kindle?
Unpacking my Kindle library, I click "menu" on my screen and find . . . a list.
Beholding "the several thousand volumes that are piled up around me," Benjamin exclaims: "O bliss of the collector! Bliss of the man of leisure!" With nothing piled up around me but the Kindle and its charger, I may be missing out.
But even Benjamin, who managed to see the future of media and technology more than once, knew he was writing an elegy for a way of experiencing books. I like to think he would be the first to recognize that the Kindle delivers a new kind of bliss.
To read the complete article, see:
Wayne Homren, Editor
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