I keep reading - well, on Twitter mostly - people saying they've got their new Kindle and ooh and aah and how grand. I'm wondering if there's something wrong with me. Because I not only don't want to have a Kindle. It's more active than that: I want not to have one. The thing is, when I think of my books, or at least those of them that I really care about, and then think of no longer having them but having their contents on a Kindle, I feel bereft. Already. Just imagining that. For each of them, I want the actual book, not just the words the book contains. Is this some kind of magical thinking? If you've got the words and can call them up whenever you want them, why want the book? Fetishism of commodities? Except that I don't have this feeling towards commodities in general. I would gladly have the movies I love all stored on a disc the size of a tooth, so that I could view them whenever. Ditto all the music; I don't need the vinyl, or the CDs, or whatever. Jeez, I've never even owned a car. I take the bus, or a cab. But books, they are the Word in physical shape; they are... the Books. And they look and feel and smell, they be there. You can love a book - not only what's in it but also what it is, its it-ness. I know, I know; I'm clinging to a past that's about to vanish. But I'm just saying.
[And see, now, here.]