You can run all your life, but not go anywhere

This imagie is taken from the New York Times
I read this piece in the NY times today about “real” books vs electronic books. The piece is rather fluffy and talks about nothing we don’t already know–how the e-books vs real books debate has industry suits scratching their heads. It’s got a couple of cute profiles on couples who prefer different mediums.

I own an iPad and do a lot of reading on it. But I think I realized a few weeks back, in my Jason Kidd has a Cold entry, that ultimately, nothing can ever replace the feel of a magazine or a book. I’ve been reading the book One Day lately, and it feels good to hold the book in my hands and flip through the pages. As the right side of the book gets thinner and thinner, I feel a sense of…progress. Like “wow, we’re almost near the end of this journey”.

Magazines are the same way. I dug out my old stash of SLAM magazines today because I was on my way to meet Rip Hamilton and I wanted to find an issue with him in it for autograph (couldn’t find one in the end). And as I looked at some the older issues, most notably the August 1997 issue with a young MJ on the cover, I felt nostalgic. Like…”man, I still remember when I bought this with my allowance money as a 15 year old”. Or when I saw a young, skinny, not-tatted up Lebron on the cover of the August 2002 issue, it reminded me how much time has passed, yet how fast it all felt. That was eight years ago, but I still remember getting that issue in the mailbox and going “oh shit!”

So as much as I love my iPad, I don’t think e-books or e-magazines can ever replace a real magazine or book, one you hold in your hands and admire. One you try your best to keep in mint condition (I’m a comic geek, hence I treat all my books and magazines gently. Not one crease or ripped page in all my SLAMs)

Of course, not everyone feels that way, as evident in the NYTimes piece. But I think those people belong in that “I don’t really love any particular thing” camp. I think most geeks–be it a film buff, or a audiophile, or a book lover–will always prefer the real thing. That is why vinyl record still sells, copies of Rocky VHS/DVD are still valued, and my stack of magazines, comic books, and books will always travel with me, even as I shift from place to place.

BTW, I’d like to share a classic with y’all. Social D, Ball and Chain. Classic SoCal rock.

You can run all your life, but not go anywhere

And here’s me giving the Larry OBrien some love


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