Traditional Books vs. Digital - No Yelling Allowed

26 Feb


So here I am this morning wading into a debate that has been raging ever since the first e-book came out. Do we respect the traditional book…you know the ones made of paper that you can hold in your hands, or do we make the change to digital, the ones where no trees had to give their lives? For a long time I have been on fence on this issue but recently I was shoved off that fence by a documentary.

Keep in mind that I am, and always have been, a writer. As far back as I can remember I have been writing stuff down. I published my first piece when I was 9 years old and over the last 35 years I have been published again about a gazillion times. Along with that writing comes the reading and a lot of it. I read everything I can get my hands on most days…magazines, books, signs, cereal boxes…I read it all. I love the smell of a “real” book…the pages, the binding. I love the feel of a book in my hands and the way the words flow out onto the pages. I love to turn the pages. But do you know what I love more than any of that? I love breathing.

Our world is in a flux right now and the ecosystem is amazingly off balance. Our kind, man, has managed to over use everything from trees to the air itself and most of us have trickled along with no concept of what we are doing to the planet. Now we are being slammed in the face with the possibility that there may not be enough of the planet to survive into the future and that bothers me…a lot. I have kids and grandkids and I want them to be able to enjoy their lives too but that ain’t gonna happen if we keep squandering what we have now. What does this have to do with books? A lot.

We writers pride ourselves in being the windows of the future, the innovators of good, yet when the digital format books came out we all slammed to a halt and called foul. We wanted out traditional books and we poo pooed the concept of digital books. Never mind that a Kindle or a Nook would allow you to travel anywhere with your entire library, never mind that you would never have to lose another traditional bookmark, and never mind that moving to digital would help the planet…we just wanted to be able to turn the page. How sad are we?

So here is my challenge to all of you fellow writers…make the change. I know…I love the way the books look on the shelves too and if you need that library look head to a second hand book store and stock up but as far as what you read now…go digital. It will save some trees and possibly allow for more air in the future. It will save the beauty that is the trees whether they are lined on a beach, in the mountains or deep in the Amazon jungle. We are writers, it is our way to see the future and embrace it. Embrace digital books folks…your future may depend on it.

© The Writer’s Advice, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.


Posted by on February 26, 2023 in Business of Writing, Writing


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2 responses to “Traditional Books vs. Digital - No Yelling Allowed

  1. jkvegh

    February 26, 2023 at 5:08 pm

    So you don’t mind reading off a product that is made by slaves in China, which no doubt these electronics are - as most stuff is these days? Trees can be replanted. Slaves are often children or young kids who work tirelessly with no labor laws, no clean clothes or a clean place to sleep at night. They often have little to no time being nurtured by a mother or father. They don’t get to play as our children do who are protected by labor laws. Modern society has a way of making people think they are being politically correct. It is all how you Wag the Dog. Watch the movies “Made in China,” or “China Blue,” two very compelling documentaries.

    • thewritersadvice

      February 27, 2023 at 1:29 am

      I will. Thank you for your comment.


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