Printed word on paper lasts forever

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, April 28, 2015

As I stared at the books lined up within two rooms on sale within the Margaret Reed Crosby I pondered why physical copies of books are still popular.

With so many ways to read, or listen to, a book these days, owning a hard cover or paperback version seems cumbersome. Besides, books can now be downloaded to an e-reader, tablet or cell phone for easy consumption.

As I went to leave the event I was offered a physical copy of the price list for the books on sale. Instead of accepting the paper copy, I said, “That’s ok, I will just take a picture of it and save a tree.”

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The response offered to me by a member of the staff, “Paper is a crop,” caught me off guard, but posed a valid point. Paper is used in the production of physical copies of books, and price lists.

While there is validity behind the fear that humanity could use up all of the trees because they are essential for our survival, they do grow back, some faster than others. So moderation is key in the use of paper.

I have a small collection of books at home, which I barely read anymore. It’s a shame I know, and I have no good excuse not to open and enjoy them once in a while. My point is that I understand why people would want a physical copy of a book. Their longevity could very well outlast any tablet, e-reader or cell phone.

Books also have something technology can’t offer, the ability to be used without electricity.

The last time I can remember reading an entire book was during the week or two without electricity after Hurricane Katrina.

It’s one of the reasons I hold on to my book collection and a good reason to stop by the library and pick up a few good books.