No More E-Books Vs. Print Books Arguments, OK?

Jonathan Franzen's in the news again, this time talking about how e-books are chiseling away at the foundations of civilization as we know it. Absurd, isn't it? That the author of two of the better regarded novels of the past decade (give or take) would be concerned about how you read his books. The problem, according to Franzen, is manifold. E-books and digital readers are a con designed to rob you of money that you could otherwise be spending on paper books; e-books are trivial non-objects that you cannot hold and fetishize; print books are durable ("I can spill water on it and it would still work!" he is quoted as saying); and, most perniciously, e-books are supplanting the gorgeous permanence of book-books. "But I do fear that it's going to be very hard to make the world work if there's no permanence like that," Franzen said. "That kind of radical contingency is not compatible with a system of justice or responsible self-government."

Full piece on NPR

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It would be a better post if...

...it weren't full of snide little put-downs of those who actually like print books: "fetishize" and the like. So, I guess, the answer is No: Not as long as jerks on one "side" or the other insist on putting down anybody whose preference isn't the same as theirs.

(And when somebody who's busily sneering at print books tells me how much they LOVE print books, I have the same reaction I did to "some of my best friends are..." comments a couple of decades back.)

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