I know; I'm beginning to sound obsessed. Plus, I seem to be talking out of both sides of my mouth. I've already extolled the virtues of my Kindle, and now I'm about to go off on the new color Nook from B&N. But it's not the device itself, it's what B&N so proudly claims it will do that bothers me. They associate the introduction of this new product with their ability to now provide e-versions of picture books for little kids. That really upset me.
Will this generation of kids be growing up without knowing what it's like to hold a book, turn the pages, carry it around, keep it forever? Yes, I know, I've said that I'm getting over that need myself. But I grew up with books. I've spent my entire adult life working with books. I already know the value of the book as object. It's not something I'm likely to forget. (And I still have the beautifully illustrated copy of Heidi given to me and inscribed "To Judy, Love Nini, 1947.")
To me, the book as object is far more than the words; it's typeface, design, paper, binding, top stain, ragged right, jacket design--do I need to go on? I think there's a correlation between learning to love reading and loving the thing itself. Am I right about that or am I just trying to stop the flow progress by sticking my finger in the proverbial dike?
I mean, after all, the typewriter was a pretty nifty object, too, but I never regretted the loss of my Royal electric portable, changing the ribbon, using White Out (a relatively recent innovation in itself), or making carbon copies once I got a computer.
So, does anyone else feel this potential loss as I do? I'd love to know.