Friday, 24 June 2011

Ebooks vs. The Real Deal

It’s a fantastic time to be involved with technology. With tablets and large screen mobiles on the rise, the avid reader is obviously more than thrilled that literature has found its way to the digitized realm. I, on the other hand, fall somewhere in between this crowd – I love technology but prefer going completely low-tech when it comes to inserting a little culture into my slightly fast paced lifestyle. Having amassed a rather impressive comic book/Graphic Novel collection, I can state without a shadow of a doubt that I would never substitute my collection for a digital version of the same. And that's all I have to say about that.
You'll never take my hardcovers...
You'll never take my hardcovers...

Well ok, not really. As impressive or affordable as the services like Comixology and such are when it comes to getting my regular dose of comic books, I'd still take the time out during a month to scout around the stores, local and not-so local “raddhi-wallahs” looking for the real thing. Comic book and e-readers are no doubt superb advancements in technology but are no substitute for the real deal in my life.

Sure I can pack scores of books and hundreds of comics onto an iPad, Kindle or some other such tablet device. I can even bookmark select parts of texts to research on, use Comixology to read comics that actually appear like an animated movie and so on. But I’m a collector at heart. I believe in keeping the written word on real pages alive. Perhaps some might even consider me a bit of a hypocrite as I write for a digital medium, but they haven’t seen my literature collection.

There’s just a certain old school feeling that one gets when they hold a book in their hands, wrinkled and even dusty. There's a feeling of culture and a vibe like nothing else that comes form holding a thick novel and flipping through the pages of a comic book. No digital jazz for me. The re-cycled paper, the vibrant colours, everything neatly arranged so I have no need to zoom in or out and lose resolution. In many ways it’s like owning a piece of art. Would you own a painting of a Van Gogh on your iPad? It’s the same for me and my collector’s edition books.

I'm not dissing the whole Ebook, eComic phenomena; I do believe that it's an interesting way to bring books to the masses. It’s neat, tidy and the E-ink interface is just superb. It gives you that real print like view. But really, how many of you can really say that you'd actually encourage your kids to drop their text books or forget about the library in lieu of a Kindle? But the truth is, we probably headed in that direction anyway.

I use the iPad, sure I'll admit it, Comixology is one of my favorite apps in fact, but most of the time, I simply use to get a preview of a book or series I want to buy so I know what to look for when I go into a store.

Sometimes it’s just really hard finding some series in stores even in the international market. I could order them from places like Amazon etc. but that does tend to frighten my bank account. This is the only time when I willingly log in to my various online accounts to purchase a digital book. However, just to reiterate, I wouldn’t do this for a novel, just comic books that are hard to find. There are plenty of great books stores all across the city waiting to be explored and chances are you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for. Kindles and iBook stores are for those who don’t have the time to go out and look for books they love and still crave literary exodus from their hectic lives and I thoroughly respect that.

So, while I’m always rooting for the digital age, I’m still going to remain eccentric, and some might even say “backward” when it comes to certain aspects of my likes and dislikes. My collection will never be replaced by digital copies and I’ll take them to the grave with me if need be. I’m almost certain there’ll be a large number of individuals who will be pro electronic reading and find my take on this ‘insane’ (I’m sure stronger words will be used) but for me, all arguments for or against the tech are moot. I don’t really see a decline in the paper form happening in my lifetime and for that I’m gratefu

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