Quotes about E-Books

I prefer books that don’t need batteries. ~Author unknown

Consumer resistance is still strong, we may not be ready to curl up in that e-chair… the flexible and durable technology of the printed book, as well as its quiet sensuality, are still what the general reader desires most… We still prefer that quiet rustle of the pages, and besides, how do you press a wildflower into the pages of an e‑book? ~Lewis Buzbee, “New Arrivals,” The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop: A Memoir, A History, 2006

Touchscreen books — not the same as touching books. ~Terri Guillemets, “Candlelit,” 2007

You cannot hold a computer in your hand like you can a book. I don’t care what they say about “e‑books.” A computer does not smell. There are two perfumes to a book: a book is new, it smells great; a book is old, it smells even better. It smells like ancient Egypt. So a book has got to smell. You have to hold it in your hands and pray to it. You put it in your pocket and you walk with it. And it stays with you forever. But the computer doesn’t do that for you. I’m sorry. ~Ray Bradbury, interview with Sam Weller, 2010

It’s a deeper well of human experience. Here’s another thing: if you drop a book into the toilet, you can fish it out, dry it off and read that book. But if you drop your Kindle in the toilet, you’re pretty well done. ~Stephen King, on HuffPost Live, 2014

There are two points at which I might use a Kindle: when travelling, though I don’t do much of that any more, and when in hospital, which is quite likely to arise at some point. So that could be very useful. But as a general way of reading books, no. It seems to me that anyone whose library consists of a Kindle lying on a table is some sort of bloodless nerd. ~Penelope Lively, quoted in Anita Singh, “Ways With Words,” The Telegraph, www.telegraph.co.uk, 2011 July 11th

An ebook is like having a photo of a dead loved one. It’s convenient to look at and it will stir the mind, but it doesn’t breathe. ~Brandt Legg, The Last Librarian, 2015

Why, then, am I so uneasy about the page-to-screen transfer — a skeptic if not a downright resister? Perhaps it is because I see in the turning of literal pages — pages bound in literal books — a compelling larger value, and perceive in the move away from the book a move away from a certain kind of cultural understanding, one that I’m not confident that we are replacing, never mind improving upon. I’m not blind to the unwieldiness of the book, or to the cumbersome systems we must maintain to accommodate it — the vast libraries and complicated filing systems. But these structures evolved over centuries in ways that map our collective endeavor to understand and express our world. The book is part of a system. And that system stands for the labor and taxonomy of human understanding, and to touch a book is to touch that system, however lightly. The electronic book, on the other hand, represents — and furthers — a circuitry of instant access… We may gain an extraordinary dots-per-square-inch level of access to detail, but in the process we will lose much of our sense of the woven narrative consistency of the story. That is the trade-off. Access versus context. ~Sven Birkerts, “Resisting the Kindle,” in The Atlantic, 2009 March 2nd

Maybe eBooks are going to take over, one day, but not until those wizzkids in Silicon Valley invent a way to bend the corners, fold the spine, yellow the pages, add a coffee ring or two and allow the plastic tablet to fall open at a favourite page. ~Russell T Davies, 2009 Foreword to Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, 1979

He also had a device which looked rather like a largish electronic calculator. This had about a hundred tiny flat press buttons and a screen about four inches square on which any one of a million “pages” could be summoned at a moment’s notice. ~Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, 1979

When the screen blanked out this time, he had to fight an impulse to get up from the kitchen chair he was sitting in and back away from the table. A crazy certainty had arisen in his mind: a hand — or perhaps a claw — was going to swim up from the grayness of the Kindle’s screen, grab him by the throat, and yank him in. He would exist forever in computerized grayness, floating around the microchips… ~Stephen King, “Ur,” The Bazaar of Bad Dreams, 2015

Lately, even the Waybacklist borrowers seem to be missing. Have they been seduced by some other book club on the other side of town? Have they all bought Kindles? I have one, and I use it most nights. I always imagine the books staring and whispering, Traitor! — but come on, I have a lot of free first chapters to get through. ~Robin Sloan, Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, 2012

Honestly, I think we should be delighted people still want to read, be it on a Kindle or a Nook or whatever the latest device is. ~J. K. Rowling, interview, 2012