A couple years ago, I was given a Kindle for my birthday. I remember being excited; I was ready to read my favorite classics on the same device wherever I wanted, eager to swipe the touch screen, anxious to download dozens of applications from the app store. But, most of all, I was excited to just read digitally. I was excited to read on a screen, was ecstatic to know that my eyes would absorb glowing, pixelated words…  at least, I thought I was.

Digital copies of books seem to be overwhelming the current reader population. Even textbooks are slowly disappearing from my school and are replaced with electronic versions, distributed by links and loading screens.

So, with this personal experience acting as evidence in mind, do I think books will die in the future? Do I think they will disappear and lose their meaning?

No, I do not. I believe physical books will triumph over e-readers and digital novels, claiming victory for generations to come. And why do I believe this, even after I have been witnessing the decline of physical books for years now?

It’s because I know that humanity will never part from art, never part from its origins, never part from its instinct to cling to its history. In The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald writes, “And so we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.” Physical and textual language provide this current that push us and hold us “ceaselessly into the past.”  Its power lies in its roots to human history.

Even throughout prehistoric times, humans communicated through ways of art and self-expression. When you hold a book in your hand, the roots of humanity twine around your fingers, lock around your wrists. It is impossible to deny this type of emotion: the feeling of primitive simplicity, the sight of words on a page and the negative space surrounding them. The syntax, the structures, the sentences— they are familiar through this bond we have to the past. They are familiar through the paper beneath our palms. Reading with a book in your hand– the pages slipping between your fingertips– simply feels… right.

The reason why we still create art—including music, dance, film, paintings, drawings, novels, and poems—is to grasp these roots we recognize so clearly and to stem from them. We constantly create new branches for future generations. As a result, it is guaranteed that we will never deviate from the same roots we have always known.

This is precisely why I collect physical books, and why I read physical copies. Not for the pride or the display. But for the everlasting feeling of wholeness and connectedness that I cannot experience through my Kindle.

Books have always been stubborn contributors to our history. And I know they will not give up so easily.

If you have any insight on this subject, comment below; I’d love to hear your thoughts.

12 thoughts on “Books Are Not Dying

  1. Great post, and yes, I like to think also that books will live on both in traditional physical form and digitally. Personally I’ve adopted sort of a dual system, I read certain books on my Kindle – I have an old non-touchscreen variety which I love and use quite a lot actually. Mostly for relaxation (crime fiction largely) or educational reading, and some discovery of new or lesser known authors. I do prefer reading the likes of Pynchon and Murakami in their physical paperback or hard cover format.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Books will forever be our companion.. sometimes I print out materials just to feel thre touch of my fingers on papers as though the words will diffuse through my skin for greater understanding. But on the other hand I have craved to own a kindle so that I can get access to loads of books plus its battery life that supports long hours of reading. Never owned one just got lots of preview on youtube.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love your posting! I appreciate digital books for both their convenience and cost ; however, nothing impacts our senses more than the olfactory system. We get the visual and tactile input from both digital and printed books but the sensory and emotional imput from paper books far surpasses the impact we get from the digital ones in my opinion.

    Liked by 1 person

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