Are Books Headed For Extinction?

Billy Rowlinson/<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/billyrowlinson/3193773937/">Flickr</a>

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Dear Anna: This isn’t social media related per se, but here’s my dilemma. I’m on the fence about the Kindle, especially since I keep reading about the slow extinction of print everything and don’t want to contribute to that. Also, maybe I feel some hipster guilt about e-books generally. What’s your take? Should I cave to technology peer pressure? Is this just embracing the future?
~Book Lover

You know, I love technology. I love that I can play Scrabble, listen to Glee songs at a really low volume so no one knows I’m not listening to TV On The Radio or some other socially sanctioned band, and post a blog on my iPhone all while waiting for the bus. I love that Twitter enables me to experience the profound insights of 50 Cent on a daily basis, such as, “I can’t belive my grandmother’s making me take out the garbage I’m rich f*ck this I’m going home I don’t need this shit.” I love that I can find an apartment, a job, and a blow job with a few clicks on Craigslist.

But when it comes to books, the future can embrace its cold, glossy exterior with my fist! Reading, for me, is a pleasure that should not be experienced on an LCD screen. Email is great, but love letters are better. I want to smell a book’s crisp pages, run my hands over its binding, marvel at the oily dents my fingers have created by re-reading the same favored passage over and over. Books are my muse and my dominatrix. They are meant to be adored.

That said, I am an avowed bisexual, and I see everything both ways. Here are some non-ranty pros and cons of Kindles, Nooks, iPads, and other e-readers.

Pro: The e-reader is lighter, weighing 8.5 ounces. Your average book weighs 12 ounces. A hardback weighs about two pounds.

Con: Seriously? Your pansy-ass hipster arms can’t hold a two-pound book? You’re an embarrassment to asymmetrical haircuts.

Read the rest of my online etiquette column at SF Weekly.


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