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  • Writer's pictureDavid Jacobs

Physical Media


Book with coffee stain


I hate paper. I have always been a digital guy. I want everything in digital form, not printed. Receipts from a store, bills, books and magazin es. I want it all digitally. So of course I fell in love with the Kindle when it came out. All my books in one little, lightweight device. What could be better?


I've been doing this for years, but then something unexpected happened. I don't remember which book it was, but I got a physical copy of a book. I found I enjoyed reading it in its physical form. Then I got another physical book. I went back to read something on the Kindle and it was fine, but somehow felt cold. This is the first time I had ever felt that. Something about the physical book, the tactile touch and smell of the pages. It felt warm and personal. It's simlar to the feel you get shopping at an in-person book store rather than online, but I do still shop for books online as well. That physical books get a little beat up and warn, but because of your own actions really makes it yours. For my non fiction books that I highlight, dragging ink across the page feels more conntected than a digtital highlight.


I used to and still do to a degree like the cool efficiency of digital technology. I still want all my bills and recipts digitally, but there is something great about that book you have with the coffee stain on it. Sometimes it's good to be a little messy. And so I have found myself falling back in love with physical media. It's been awhile since I bought a book on Kindle. Same with magazines, I am converting my subscriptions back to physical. Rather than the clean efficiency of the Kindle, I will have books and magazines laying about the room. I'm good with that. I think I am finding we don't need to digitize everything. We'll all have to find the right ballance between digital and analog. Before you ask, no I still love my digital music catelouge. I understand the ro mance of vinyl records. I had many in my time in younger days but the vinyl "revolution" is stunted by much higher prices for the vinyl copy. Who can afford to build a collection? Sadly, there are very few, if any, true record stores left anyway. I loved the record store but it is one of the casulties of the digital era. What really makes digital music great is it's portability and flexibiity, and there is nothing romantic about cassete tape.

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