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Why E-readers Can’t Replace Paperbacks

September 14, 2010

The work in question.

The ache of the elbow that reminds one of all the completed yet undiscardable words that preceded the final 200-page session of the 900 page novel, the physical act of bearing weight reminding one of the unphysical mental space which had to hold those 899 one-page introductions to the last page, all of the pages forming the blueprint of the latest strange architectural addition to the industrial metropolis that manufactures one’s thoughts.

As for the book itself…

I’d struggle to actively recommend anyone to read it because I’d be scared that someone would spend all that time and be disappointed and I’d be blamed. But there is some real mind-bending magic in those millions of ink marks. From desperately, punishingly bleak to blindingly gorgeous, it’s also obsessively filled with details that seem like they must mean something, but good luck figuring it out because you won’t get many firm answers. A book that burns away at the back of your thoughts from the moment it begins, an infection that will probably never leave, like that cat parasite that apparently acts on humans like a super-subtle version of those zombie snail worms.

The book contains its own description/review actually:

What a sad paradox, thought Amalfitano. Now even bookish pharmacists are afraid to take on the great, imperfect, torrential works, books that blaze paths into the unknown. They choose the perfect exercises of the great masters. Or what amounts to the same thing: they want to watch the great masters spar, but they have no interest in real combat, when the great masters struggle against that something, that something that terrifies us all, that something that cows and spurs us on, amid blood and mortal wounds and stench.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. poms permalink
    September 14, 2010 6:25 am

    Or you know, authors who don’t really understand the concept of effective editing maybe?

  2. September 14, 2010 11:54 am

    But I don’t think you can just dismiss anything over a certain page count as lazy editing. To paraphrase a famous jazz musician, sometimes it just takes that long to fit everything in.

  3. November 25, 2010 11:03 pm

    Thats what she said.

  4. November 27, 2010 3:31 am

    Good response, though it took you a while to get it up there.

  5. February 6, 2011 12:43 am

    Giles please remind me to talk to you about eBook readers and stuff in the near future. I’m fucking convinced, man.

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