Saturday, July 30, 2011

You can’t touch this

In the New York Times, Nick Bilton describes his dilemma as he moves to a new city; what to with all his books. “What’s the point if I’m not going to use them? I have digital versions now on my Kindle,” he asks. “If I was talking about throwing away my CD or DVD collection, no one would bat an eyelid.”

The latter is probably true; but if he’d been talking about a collection of vinyl records, eyelids would bat like Stuart Broad with something to prove. Maybe I’m showing myself up – like Roger Ebert – as an analogue diehard, but might it be the case that when we can get hold of stuff by digital means, whether by downloading it or ordering it from Amazon, it ceases to mean that much; and is thus easier to jettison?

(That said, this post is based on a conversation that began on Google+, so maybe I’m not as analogue as I make out.)

PS: And here’s someone quietly raging against the dying of the reading light.


Annie said...

My flatmate has just dumped all his old books in our recycling boxes. I was disgusted. True, they were mostly terrible brick-like 70s & 80s sci-fi, but someone at the charity shop would have wanted them... wouldn't they?

Richard said...

Call me old fashioned but if I sit on my bookshelf, I break the bookshelf, not ruin the contents.

Dave said...

I've given my Kindle away to my daughter, and gone back to reading real books. Call me old-fashioned...

...oh, I think I may be.

expat@large said...

I'm working on a business plan for opening a second-hand eBook store... Bank not impressed yet.

Dr Ian Hocking said...

I'm being most of my books on the Kindle now; but I couldn't get rid of the books I own because of their beauty. A house without books on the wall? Christ - not worth thinking about.

Tim Footman said...

I agree, Annie, someone would want them. But if we found out who it was, we'd be honour bound to hunt him down and kill him.

It's not old fashioned to sit on a bookshop, Richard. Just odd.

But in a good way, Dave.

That's outrageous, E@L. They deal in second-hand money, after all.

Ian, having lots of books is how we separate ourselves from people on home improvement programmes.

Anonymous said...

I am now in too much pain to comment properly.
(At least this time I have an excuse.)