Nothing is as good at being a book as a book is

The Book of the Future

The Book of the Future

Nothing is as good at being a book as a book is. — Douglas Adams

You can’t hand a Kindle to a friend and say give it back to me in six months. -– Steve Lawson

If you think about it, a very profound statement.

You can sit on a book. You cannot sit on a Kindle, it breaks.

You can share a book. How many people do you see sharing a Kindle?

You see people doing this all the time. They read a book, then pass it on either to a friend or to a charity shop.

I must admit I tend not to. My house is a black hole for books. And as the mass of books increases, more books get sucked in.

What though I do do, if I know a book to be good, I pick up extra copies and pass to friends and people I meet.

The more people share books, then it follows more people will read the books.

Sharing is thus a good thing.

Books are very good at being books!

The worst fear of a writer is not piracy, it is obscurity, remaining unknown or sinking into obscurity.

A writer writes because he wishes to be read.

When you hear whining about piracy, be it books or music, it is not the writers or musicians, it is global corporations. And since when have they been concerned about artists starving in their garrets?

Paulo Coelho wanted to be a writer, he always wanted to be a writer.

When he first wrote The Alchemist, it did not sell very well. He would hand out flyers to cinema audiences.

The Alchemist is now one of the Top Ten most read books in the world.

Paulo Coelho was dropped by his publisher in Russia. Then a strange thing happened. A pirate edition was published. He is now a very popular writer in Russia.

Give a person a good book and they will curl up and read it.

What is destroying books, what is destroying music, is the greed of global corporations.

The search for the next me-too, copycat blockbuster.

Publishers, in their search for a fast buck, offering best-sellers to chains, are killing off the small independent booksellers, leaving nothing left.

What a pleasure it was in Bassano del Grappa, a small town, and yet it had four independent bookshops, bookshops where they cared about books.

World Book Night: Monday 23 April 2012, a million books, 25 titles to be given away.

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21 Responses to “Nothing is as good at being a book as a book is”

  1. Ermilia Says:

    Having recently let my friend borrow my paperback of Ella Enchanted, gotten it back, and traded it to Kimberly Kinrade for a copy of Forbidden Fire, I cannot agree more! Nothing is as good at being a book than a book.

    I do have a kindle, mostly because I get ARC copies from authors before they go to print, but also because I’ve discovered free ebooks and I was tired of reading them on my computer, but I can’t share them (or trade them) the way I can my paperbacks.

    I write because I want to make people think. Would I like to make a living off it? Eventually, yes. 🙂

    -Eliabeth Hawthorne

  2. Sheela Nandini Says:

    Bloody right again ! 🙂

    It’s always been BOOKS for me,Keith.Finished reading “The Descendants” the other day.Now reading “Rude Food” by Vir Sanghvi.
    What makes these books a lot more special is they were given to me to read by my best male buddy who is himself a voracious reader and a compulsive buyer.He trusts me with his books as in he knows I will lavish them with TLC just as he is does.Although I have to keep from covering them with gift wrappers when I return them(I buy them especially for that reason:) )because he hates it.He likes to look at the cover even as he’s reading.To pause and ponder.

    Sharing is good but not when friends develop a strange case of amnesia and you are too embarrassed to remind them.Lost so many books that way in my school/college days-Anne of Green Gables,The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich,Roots…And then you suddenly find some questionable titles in your bookshelf and don’t want to ask where those came from(grin) Example: My Secret Garden by Nancy Friday.

    Have to smile about your Black Hole.Have you ever lost books ,Keith? I have.I had arranged all these precious titles in our living room bookshelf and something told me that day I should move them into my room but I ignored that little voice and stepped out.After I got back they were gone! Mother sold them by weight THAT DAY to the ‘raddiwallah’ as he is called(the chappie who comes by to buy junk from households) among other things.Keith,I didn’t even cry or scream at’s been over 10 years now.
    Pride and Prejudice, A Tale of Two Cities,Viking’s Sunset.White Boots,Dr.Dolittle,The Wandering Wombles,Lorna Doone,The Mill On the Floss,this historical novel based on Mustafa Kemal Ataturk(forget the title)….Books father had bought for us in the 80s when he was working abroad.I just needed to mourn them here.Forgive me.

    About cosy little bookshops-well, that’s another story:)

    Can’t thank you enough for this beautiful post on my fav topic!

  3. Sheela Nandini Says:

    Oh and I read books in bed 🙂

  4. Sheela Nandini Says:

    * just as he does

  5. keithpp Says:

    A book is a book. A Kindle is a Kindle. No matter how hard people try to pretend otherwise, a Kindle is not a book.

    Yes, you can download hundreds of books onto a Kindle, about its only plus, but have you tried sharing those books, giving them away, re-selling them?

    I do not lend or trade books. I am though happy to give them away.

    If I go away, I take books with me. When read, I give them away.

    A black hole as a massive centre of gravity into which other books are drawn, never to leave.

    • Cassie Says:

      I love your response. LOVE IT.

    • Ermilia Says:

      That sounds so obvious when stated like that, but I think you’re right and people confuse them. A Kindle, Nook, computer etc. is a way to read a book just like computer scans are a way to read manga, but that doesn’t make it a book or manga.


  6. Sheela Nandini Says:

    And it’s really sweet of you to gift books away like that,Keith.

    I smiled because of the term you used.Never heard of that one with regard to books and homes.Great!

    I have always had friends leading me to their bookshelves and uttering those magic words:Help yourself!

  7. Jessica Says:

    I like ordinary books …. the old fashion way 🙂

  8. Cassie Says:

    I like my books traditional as well, thank you. With a side of tea and my cat sleeping at the end of the bed. 🙂

  9. Bright Light Warrior Nika Says:

    Reblogged this on Bright Light Warrior Nika.

  10. Dienna Says:

    I agree with you. Books have a character that Kindles cannot replace. The design of a book’s cover, the weight of a book in one’s hands, the fresh smell of a brand new book or the broken-in feel of a used book. The Kindle does not even come close or compare to any of that.

  11. AzureSky Says:

    forgot to give an example of a cheap but decent ebook reader

    you can find similar units cheap referbished or even new with a bit of bargin hunting, adding a cheap mat screen protector will remove reflective isues(not really an issue in my exp, despite what the images would imply)

    the unit I linked is NOT a top notch unit, BUT its damn good for its price range, its not eink(to cheap to have eink) its simply a good quality black reflective LCD (non lighted) no eye strain caused when using this type of screen. 🙂

    • keithpp Says:

      But why would anyone want one when a book is far superior. An e-book is not a book!

      • Ermilia Says:

        Because getting ebooks gives you ARC copies long before a book goes to print.

      • keithpp Says:

        So you get an advance copy, then you get to see if the book is worth reading.

        Paulo Coelho back catalogue through HarperCollins at 99 cents does just that. Hence the 4,000% increase in downloads in a couple of days!

      • Ermilia Says:

        As much as I would love to buy every book I get an ARC copy of, I just can’t afford to do that. I love my ARC copies of books, I read them on my Kindle and then either move on to a different book or another ARC copy for review.

  12. AzureSky Says:

    because they are smaller then a book, you can adjust the font size, rain wont damage them (at least not easily), you can carry around dozens/hundreds/thousands of ebooks on one.

    an ebook isnt a paper book, but unlike your assertion, they arent without value or advantages over paper books.

    cant tell you how many paperbacks i have had ruined by rain and bad weather.

    then again, I have no idea where you are located, it could very well be that it dosnt rain there or that its so rare that you have never had a book get wet.

    many of my paperbacks have water spots on pages, I cant count the number that got wet when coats have leaked due to extended heavy rain, I cant count how many books I have dropped in wet grass or shallow puddles and had the covers or some of the pages damaged/ruined.

    so its not really fair to make a statement of fact that ebooks are inferior in every way to paper books, they arent, and they are not without value.

    they are not worth the price of a paper book tho, and this is why I have bought so few of them.

    I have bought a few from Baen and after reading them, passed them along to friends via email(no drm!!!)

    oh, snap, another way ebooks can be supperior, if both people have readers(devices that can read the same format) you can email a book to a friend no matter where in the world they are INSTANTLY, and unlike a paper book its FREE.(having shipped many books, its NOT free to ship books….)

    once again, an ebook isnt a book, but a book isnt an ebook either, they both have advantages and disadvantages.

    a few others

    ebooks/ereaders tend to store your last position, so no need for book marks or dog earing pages.

    no broken bindings from opening a book with bad glue(not uncomon with paperbacks when its cold out….i live in Wash state, its cold at wet here 9months of the year…)

    readers can be thinner then a paperback and hold hundreds of titles, most can also play music if you like to listen as you read(i do but, i use my cowon audio player for that)

    I have no issue with you holding the opinion that ebooks are worthless, and have no value or advantages, but to state it as fact….sorry Opinion is just that Opinion, for yourself, ebooks arent worth the price even if they are given away,for many people even the stupidly high price of 10-15bucks each is worth it to them.

    people like a friend of mine who has no room to store physical books(very very small studio appt) find ebooks to be an advantage and way they can have many many titles without having to rent a heated storage unit.

    • keithpp Says:

      At the end of the day, an e-book is not a book. no amount of pretence makes it otherwise.

      Yes, you can carry them around. Big deal.

      And no thanks. I have no wish to listen to lofi mp3.

  13. hooriya13 Says:

    Love the idea of sharing. I could live in library. E-books simply do not have the human-touch that paper bound books have.

  14. keithpp Says:

    I could not agree more. Nothing beats curling up with a good book, or browsing in a good bookshop, ie not Waterstone’s.

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