February 9, 2013
Ah, is there nothing better than opening a book and having that waft of paper aroma fill up your breath? Or is that a weird thing? As far back as I can remember the smell of paper was always enjoyable. Perhaps it was the drawing on crafty card paper as a kid, watching Mr. Dress-Up cut those colourful sheets of paper goodness and hearing the texture in his hands as he snipped through them with his scissors was truly amazing. Or maybe it was opening a pack of Hockey cards and smelling the whole stack before flipping through them, feeling the dust or bubble gum residual. Even today when I open a book, or flip through a notepad, that smell seems to instantly give a feeling of … well a feeling. Holding something real in you hands does that.
I was playing with a friends Kindle at work the other day and at first glance it looked sleek, modern, fun! But when I picked it up and swiped through it’s faux paper pages, it wasn’t the same as a real book. Well first of all I couldn’t bend it, bookmark the ears, or even lick my finger to pick up the next page, well I could have but it wasn’t my Kindle. I then began to think ‘Are books becoming history?’ This year $335-million to $299.8-million was spent on paperback novels. That’s a 10.5% drop! Even worse, last quarter they dropped 20.8%!
Taking all this into consideration I began to realize that my beloved paper was never really going to end. It was just going to be more cherished. Much like Vinyl records, I think books will be sold in smaller quantities at smaller book stores in more hidden away shops. I mean think about it, the future is quickly becoming more ‘screen’ oriented. College and University students are buying digital copies of their textbooks online, they stopped making the Dictionary recently, and even my cherished hockey cards are even being sold digitally. I watched my niece the other day flipping through her iPad and was amazed, because she’s two years old! Our children and future children are all growing up on this stuff.
It’s hard to grasp that a medium that has been around for ages such as print may be obsolete soon. So I say keep all your books aside and preserve them, for one day they may become relics. And one day you may flip through the pages and be time warped to days of texture, smell, and dog earing.