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Are Books Just a Luxury Now?

With the world that we have right now, I can agree that books are no longer needed by people. Today, kids now use tablets in schools to study their lessons, instead of books. Universities strive for a paperless education. Exams are now done in front of a computer or online at home. Want to read a book? Go download it in digital format on the Internet. 

Buying a book is now considered a luxury — a fashionable accessory.

Last month, when supermodels Bella and Gigi Hadid were each seen carrying novels, the New York Post deemed literature the “hot new accessory.” Carry a book. Complete your look. Although some resisted this formulation and took to social media to mock the characterization of the model off-duty literary style, noting that books are not an accessory and that they are definitely not new, the newspaper did have a point.
Increasingly, reading old-school printed texts isn’t necessary. You can download any book onto a Kindle and carry a whole library with you anywhere. But books offer a sensuous pleasure, lovely covers, the satisfying sensation of flipping pages, the ability to measure one’s progress, to underline and annotate and fold paper, making these objects entirely personal. And it’s precisely because there are more efficient modes of consuming literature that the dated way is gaining appreciation.

See the full story on Quartzy.

(Image Credit: Nicole Honeywill/ Unsplash)


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I recently attended a workshop on the publishing process and there's more to these books, more specifically the production it, than meets the eye.

Every creative decision done to the book design from the type of paper to the way they are bound adds a special value and significance to how the books are presented. It's not all about the text, as they would say, although it does form the bulk of what readers would find valuable. But it doesn't end there.

There are just certain things that e-books cannot provide. The feeling of flipping through pages, as Andrew mentions, the smell of the paper wafting through your nose, as well as the texture of the cover of the book and the inside paper, all of these things factor in to the experience of the book.

If you just want to get information, then there are tons of sources online to find them. But books still hold a special place in culture and history, so I don't see them going out of style any time soon. In fact, the publishers say that the time of e-books has passed. The trend has died down and we're all going back to the real deal.

On the other hand, bookstores might have a bit of trouble, especially with Amazon coming in to the brick-and-mortar scene, apart from their online shelves. But even then, I think book lovers and enthusiasts would know the importance still of your good ol' second hand bookshops or even Barnes & Noble.
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I agree, Andrew. I have tried to read books on a screen, but there's something special about a genuine physical book you can hold in your hands. Besides, authors can't autograph a Kindle.
Very good point, John. E-books rely on power, and functioning equipment. When the electricity is out for a while and batteries run down, paper books are still there.
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At the college where I work, students generally prefer textbooks in print because they're a reliable form of technology. The battery level on a book is never low.
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I have never been able to get my head around reading on a Kindle or Fire or other tablet, despite how convenient they seem. I love having the book in my hand, flipping the pages, and looking around. It's a physical and emotional thing that the tablet will never recreate
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