The Millionth Clone
The real difference between a book and an e-book is essentially a true manifestation of ownership. The flipping noise of the pale yellow pulpy paper, the touch of embossed and raised words on the cover, the animated bookmark that peeps out and cause a few paper cuts now and then and the price tag that says, “for $ 10, I am yours to keep”. An e-book on the other hand is not really a book. It’s a code written by new age industrial workers that creates the exact same ghost copies for a million readers. With a press of a button (well there is actually no button but a tap on a surface of your computer or tablet instructing the program to create the millionth clone), your screen dresses up virtually to convince you it’s the real thing. Like sharks in an aquarium, the words are imprisoned in the glass wall of your kindle, never to make friends with your fingers — they overwhelm you with their greatness but you will never get to touch them.
And then to think, that someone sitting thousands of miles away, in a basement filled with the stench of stale pizzas and dog poo, could actually make that clone disappear from your gadget is rather discomforting. Yes, just with a click of a ‘button’.
I am currently reading “Skyfaring: A journey with a pilot” by Mark Vanhoenacker, admittedly on my iPad Mini. I remember reading somewhere that to really tip the scales in favour of e-reading, you would have to read at least 40 books a year. By doing that, you would ensure saving enough paper (and hence trees) to make good of the energy consumed to make a device and the subsequent waste that it will create later. Here is to 39 more this year.
And what are you reading today?