I tried to switch to e-books. I really did. I got a Kindle, I tried Audible, but I just couldn’t do it. The experience wasn’t the same. For me, printed books possess an irreplaceable intimacy. I love browsing local bookstores, cuddling up with a good book, holding a nice big thick one in my hand… I just love real books! And it’s not because I want to fuck them.
Technology creates too much distance, and all I want is to put down my phone, pour myself a glass of wine, and read my book as long and hard as I can. Nothing compares to quality time with a real book. Each title feels so different, yet oddly familiar. My fingers graze the rugged spine of a used paperback. My hands grasp the rock-hard raised bands of a classic hardcover. My chest quickens as I cradle the glossy luster of a beloved reprint. I have a passion for literature! I don’t want to get nasty with it.
E-books deny physical contact with the written word. Of course you can hold a tablet or a phone, but nothing compares to grabbing ahold of the real thing and letting it rip! I love to smell books. Sometimes, I fan the pages at my nose to engulf my senses in its musk. Basking in the reverie of diving in, I stand unrepentant in my bald hunger to enrapture myself to its infinite folds. Would I boink a novel? Of course not!
Used books are in a special league. Their years of experience and maturation beg the question: who has had this book before me? Did they huddle with it deep into the night under only lapping moonbeams? Did they give themselves to the story so wholly and completely as to be taken by the plots twisting sinews? Were they drenched in the ample symbolism? Did they clasp the character development, pulsing in symbiotic rhythm with the furling and unfurling of narrative device? Did they witness the blossoming of a secret place known only by touch? I mean, we’re talking about spellbinding story craft, here. I don’t want to make whoopee with a book! It’s not even physically possible, yet.
You can rough up a book. It’s not some fragile techno-device—it’s pulp, steamed and pounded and pressed into pure, unadulterated ideas. You can drop it, kick it, or spank your ass with it gasping, “Again, again, you animal!” but the narrative drives harder, harder as you approach the climax with an ever-quickening rhythm. You let it take you, both wondering when it will stop and desperate for it not to as you wait prone and unabashed for everything you have yearned for to bear its forbidden fruit, delivering a fantasy that can only be forged by the written word. I honestly wouldn’t bump uglies with a book!
Well, maybe Ethan Frome.