In case you hadn’t picked up on it from reading a post here and there I need to be upfront and say that I love books. I think that writing is nearly God’s greatest gift to mankind, superceded only by our eternal souls and the salvation thereof. Libraries are hallowed places to me, where ideas are freely available. Lending libraries are, to me, allegorical to God’s Grace. There is that great gift, mystical and nearly painful to ponder at length and all free for the taking.
So, yeah. I’m in to books.
But the volumes themselves–the cloth, board, binding and paper–are really just vehicles that convey the true essence (or soul, if we want to belabour an already fraying analogy) of the author’s work. While I get a real kick out of the feel of a heavy cream stock or a deckle-edged signature of pages I am not wedded to that method of delivery.
As a zealot alot about Kindle, I’m used to the number one objection from Bibliophiles and poseurs alike when presented with the concept of e-readers in general. “I just really like books.” Okay. The more I think about it the more it would be like saying “I just really love my parents” as a justification for parking forty Chrysler Sebrings in my yard. The people and ideas you love are seperable from the vehicles in which they travel from place to place.
So now that Borders has finally decided to partner with Kobo and get on the e-Reader train they are flogging the upcoming Kobo Touch e-reader with e-Ink. In a promotion that has all the flopsweat of a dying man juggling for the king to avoid the axe, Borders is emailing save-the-dates to everyone. They want to boost excitement so they’ve decided to tout the (for now) unique operating structure.
Yep. Just like reading a REAL book.
You know, I did, until yesterday, feel very sorry for Borders. I really loved going on buy ‘n’ browse trips to the West End Store, and many a perfect date with my spouse included that element. They did a great job merchandising their products and their buyers had a knack for selecting products that underscored the romance of the reading experience. I hated that their buggywhip paradigm was crippling them in this dawn of a new medium. Until yesterday.
Because any book store that doesn’t get the fact that a Real Book is the collection of thoughts and ideas conveyed by the author through words and pictures doesn’t deserve to call itself a book store. They can call themselves a paper/binding/cloth/board/glue store. Because that is apparently what was REAL to them.