December 25, 2014

Dear Sir or Madam, will you read my (e)book?

Dear Sir or Madam will you read my book?
It took me years to write, will you take a look?
Its based on a novel by a man named Lear,
and I need a job, so I want to be a Paperback Writer.
- Paperback Writer, The Beatles. 

    For me its never been a competition between eBooks and Paperbacks but rather a matter of convenience.
Architect's need to refer a lot of building codes and standards which are usually big heavy books of at least a thousand pages. I cannot imagine lugging around these codes everywhere I go because you never know when you'll need to cross check something. These books also cost a fortune and it doesn't make sense to buy hard back copies for a personal library. I would rather download these codes and standards onto Adobe or Kindle or whatever other platform used to view PDF documents - easier to carry around a tablet than a few kilos of rules and regulations. 
    PDF document readers come with the nifty ways to navigate documents. So if i need to quickly cross-check a few facts all I need to do is whip out my tablet, click a few buttons, key in some words and let technology do the rest. 
    Being a hopeless romantic, I really love to curl up on the sofa with a hot cup of tea and a paperback novel and spend a whole Sunday afternoon reading. The smell of the fresh untouched pages of a new book is absolutely intoxicating. 
     You can't judge a book by it's cover but we definitely can judge people by the books in their homes. There is a certain pride in owning signed copies of bestsellers and the whole experience of standing in queue, all jittery and excited, waiting for a favorite author to write with his marker on the first page - to leave a permanent memory. Every time I buy a new book and put it in its new place I step back to admire the collection of a few hundred books put together by my mother and grandmother neatly arranged on the teak shelving.
    Every paperback has an emotional connect to its owner and as years pass become time capsules. I've stumbled upon books at home that were bought during the Raj. that contain little notes written by my late grandfather documenting the place and date, and for who it was intended for. It is heartwarming to read little love notes exchanged between an aunt and uncle in their college days left between the mushy pages of Mills and Boon.      
     Yes, its true printed material is soon going out of fashion with many newspapers and magazines gearing up for a future dominated by technology but Paperbacks still have an old world charm and bring with them the respect that a well read intellectual deserves.   

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Merry Christmas Everyone!
Spread the love and peace.