I have begun this web log, or “blog” as the young folk call it, in order to give voice to the oft-overlooked expert opinion inherent to my kind – the bookshelf gargoyle. I will use this (cyber) space to present to you my musings on all things related to books and their ilk. In doing so, I hope to achieve a certain immortality beyond the kind that I already possess as a piece of (handsomely) chiselled stone.
As a bookshelf gargoyle, much of my work involves being in close proximity to the printed word. In fact, one might say that my livelihood depends upon it. Thus, it was with great dismay that I happened upon a recent technological advancement that has the potential to render my kind obsolete. I refer of course, to that most subversive of contraptions: the e-reader.
In reflecting on the potentially lethal ramifications this device may pose to my kind, I present to you a list of 4 reasons why the e-reader will never replace the humble book.
1. Books provide an invaluable contribution to the world of medicine that is unmatched by their electronic cousins. It is impossible, for example, to burst a cyst by whacking it with the online edition of the King James Bible.
2. Printed books provide balance and stability in a way that e-books can’t. I have yet to spy an e-reader propping up the errant leg of a lopsided table.
3. In contrast to an e-book, the printed word is imbued with a sense of passion and gravity that reflects its lofty position in human culture. Therefore, one would not think twice about tossing a copy of the Encyclopedia Britannica (Volume 10: Garrison to Halibut) from a high place onto the unsuspecting head of an objectionable suitor standing below. This would be unthinkable with an e-reader. One might damage the screen.
4. Books provide important social clues to the keen-eyed observer that would be otherwise inaccessible were the subject reading an e-book. For instance, consider a highly attractive individual of the opposite sex, casually scrolling through their e-book in a public setting. Before approaching said individual, it would be handy to know whether they were perusing “Pride and Prejudice” or “Cooking with Kittens: From Pet Shop to Plate in Under 30 Minutes”.
I hope it is obvious from these considered reflections that the printed word has an inviolable place in the world of reading. Long may it prosper!
And on that note, it appears I have chosen an auspicious day for the beginning of my intellectual toil – a copy of The Corpse Rat King by one Lee Battersby has appeared on the shelf. I look forward to discovering whether Mr. Battersby’s skills extend beyond the selection of intriguing titles.
Until next time,