I want to set the new books I bought on fire (and yours as well)

I like books. I like my e-reader. The traditional versus the modern. Who will win? Will they exist side by side?From 'Band of Brothers'

I’ve bought quite a lot of e-books in the past year or so, however somehow it feels a bit odd. Yes, they are waiting at disposal in the Amazon cloud, but I cannot download them or have them in an actual physical form in my library, therefore it is too virtual… Flip through the e-book, write a review and forgot it. Since you cannot see it in your library, or in your e-book file, you don’t get that poke. That poke makes you reminisce about the content, about the thoughts and ideas of that book.

The key difference between physical and electronic books is in the romance – so says the voice of plebs. Then how come of all five books I have bought yesterday, every single one of them is crisp, clean, beautiful and with a neutral smell. White papers are literally white, not yellow. It’s like going to a honeymoon and living in an operating room with beautiful view over the Waimea bay. It’s real, there are many exciting tools… But no romance. I have this uncontrollable need of spilling coffee over my new books, hand them over for a while to my one-year old nephew, who is about the most curious person in the world, and put them under my chair, upgrading it to the throne. I love the story of physical books. If they miss it, then what’s the point? Start using three-times-recycled paper, that yellow-ish one, which smells like glue. Tell the world that you want to save Dutch people from drowning or protect polar bears (“Yellow books, not brown polar bears!”) it doesn’t matter – the book lovers will know.

Unless the ludicrous weight limits in airline travel luggage are increased, I will stick with my Kindle. There should be like five-physical-books-per-person-for-free rule. Seriously. Untill that happens, I will always carry the reader with me. It works just fine. While on the topic of world-changing suggestions, why can’t we get an electronic version for free if we show a receipt of the physical book with our name? Publishers, distributors – get it done!

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About Petr Klíma