Something an e-book can’t do…
Can an e-book truly span generations? Will it ever have the longevity to be read by both parent and child when they are the same age?
My daughter is seven and has just discovered that reading is fun. So I pulled down a dusty box from the attic with all my treasured books from childhood. She sieved through them and picked out my battered copy of Jill Murphy’s ‘The Worst Witch’, which she is totally enthralled by.
Being of similar mind, she was adamant that this now belonged to her - her new reading book! We opened the book to put her name inside the front cover, only to discover my own seven-year-olds hand written scribble of my name. What better thing to do then but to have Beatriz write hers underneath.
Watching Beatriz read the book I loved as at the same age, seeing her finger the same pages, smelling the same paper (although it is distinctly more potent now!) is a beautiful thing. It all seems very magical that somewhere in the time-line there is a seven year old version of me reading the exact same book as my daughter is now. It’s all very ‘Tom’s Midnight Garden’.
This got me thinking that this is a small triumph for Books over E-Books!
If you buy an e-book, will it last 26 years? If so, is your child likely to be reading it on the same device 26 years later? I think this is very unlikely if the lifespan of computers and mobile phones are anything to go on. Don’t get me wrong I think e-books are great and have their own charm and advantages, but there is something altogether more romantic about the intimacy of reading a book, and knowing that other people you love have caressed its pages before you.
Long live the book!