Books vs. Computers
By Joanna, age 20, South Wales, United Kingdom
Sweet Designs Featured Writer
Call me old fashioned, but I don't believe that it has to be or is such a great thing after all. I'm a firm believer in old-fashioned pen and paper, real books that you can hold in your hand, and other such things that are now considered to be from centuries past.
What's so good about the old ways that I treasure? Well, take pen and paper as my first example. Whilst typing is efficient, especially if you can do it without looking at your keyboard which most people nowadays can, but pen and paper is much more personal and individual. It has a character that I feel is lost when converted to technology. No two individuals hold their pens in exactly the same way, and no two individual's script looks exactly the same. We lose part of our identities, that which defines us, when all we know of our words are typed letters, the formation of which we have no control over.
My argument for tangible books is similar. You can take a book anywhere with you, and whilst it can be argued that yes, a laptop can also be transported, the convenience of a book is a very strong counter argument. Think of holidays spent by the pool with a book, holidays spent with your little brother or your best friend or lover splashing you from the pool. With a book, it will live through this, but a laptop may not.
Another reason that draws me to books is the way they look. I know, I know, "don't judge a book by its cover," but we all do, don't we? No one picks an ugly looking book from a shelf and decides to spend their next week delving in to its pages. People look for interesting books, books whose spines excite them, and without a spine, that attraction is lost. That extra facet to the personality of the book is lost; as is the way the book feels in your hand and the smell of the book.
I buy most of my books second hand and I often wonder what journey they have been on, whose hands last held them, and what mind the story last went into. I believe that books can be influential and even sometimes life changing, or at least perception altering, and it's interesting to ponder about whose life might have been changed by the same words that I now cast my eyes over. Although e-books technically are the same words, they are not from the same page and there is no sense of journey in the same respect.