There seems to be quite a bit of encouragement these days, for self-publishers to produce their books as e-books or in a Kindle edition. Perhaps it’s my age, but I do not find these recommendations the least bit enticing.
Perhaps it has to do with not particularly liking to read off of a screen for hours on end. Or the fact that I can’t flip back and forth easily to things I want to reference. Perhaps it’s fond childhood memories of riding my bike once a week to the public library, of pouring over titles in the stacks, of carefully choosing what I wanted to read. I was an avid reader as a child, usually reading three or four books at a time, depending on my mood at the moment.
Perhaps, though, it’s how I view the written word. A good book, a good story, good information, is a work of art. It deserves a place in permanence. The computer world is not permanent. A glitch, a hijack, a virus, a wrong key hit, a power outage at the wrong time, can wipe it all out.
There is something sensually delightful about a print book: the feel of it in one’s hands, the smell of it, the interaction with it as one turns the pages. It makes a book a real thing, a tangible thing. Shelves filled with books create a pleasing ambience, a calming atmosphere in a room. None of this exists with a screen and a keyboard.
Saving trees? There are some things I accept this argument for, for packaging only destined to be thrown away for example. But books? No. A book is a worthy destiny for a tree.
Those are the reasons I want my book to be a print book. I want it to be a part of that legacy, even if only a few people ever read it.