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In Defense of Paper

I’m not against e-readers.  I’ve read a handful of novels on my iPhone.  There are times and places where an e-book makes sense.  Given the choice, however, I will almost always opt for the Real Thing.  A living, breathing, musty book with yellowed pages and gnarled corners always makes me feel better.

My sister was aghast when I told her I was getting our mother a Kindle for Christmas (I was hoping to eradicate the presence of trashy paperbacks with trashier covers once and for all).  She, like me, has a sentimental love for a flesh and bones paper book.  So there might have been a tinge of vengeance in the Christmas gift she got me: a 1953 printing of Saul Bellow’s “The Adventures of Augie March”.  I had included the book on a shortlist thinking no one would be able to find an old, weather copy.  It’s currently the 10th anniversary selection of  “One Book, One Chicago”. a Chicago Public Library program wherein a Chicago-related book is featured and conceivably read by Chicagoans at the same time, supported by numerous discussions.  But an hour outside of the city my sister happened upon a secluded used bookstore with a one-armed proprietor, and a patinated copy for sale.

Handsome, don’t you think?

Beth Somers - It is handsome, and a Kindle is still way better than what I got my mother for Christmas.

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