My latest edition of Glamour arrived in the mail yesterday, and I have spent most of the afternoon curled up on the couch, reading about holiday hairstyles, how to ask for a raise, and tips for stellar homemade tomato sauce. I’ve folded down page corners, ripped out the excessive perfume ads, and skipped over the makeup tips (because really, who has time?).
I could have googled everything I wanted to know that’s within these pages or I could have read it weeks in advance on Glamour‘s website, but I didn’t because there is something special about holding that paper in your hands, something that you can’t accomplish on this glowing screen.
Having paper to hold onto – whether it’s a newspaper, letter, book, or magazine – feels so much more substantial and meaningful than anything electronic reading devices. There are no batteries that can die, no need for internet connectivity, no corners to fold and pages to tear. With a great book, I can pass it on to a friend immediately without worrying about file compatibility. I can stick it in my purse, use it as a doorstop, wrap it and give it away for Christmas. Can you do that with a complicated URL? I don’t think so.
I also hold fast to the belief that printed articles are better researched and better written (ironic, I know, to be making this point online). People are more accountable for their words when they are on paper instead of just online, and while I appreciate the various content of online newspapers (like the Huffington Post), it just doesn’t have the same level of credibility in my book.
Not everyone can afford these paper versions of culture, and I’m glad ideas are reaching a wider audience through advancements in technology. But at the end of the day, I will keep buying my good old paperbacks, preferring bookmarks to power buttons and page turns to clicks.
(And for the record, I follow this rule myself and have kept a written journal for the last 19 years, so even my daily thoughts aren’t just in cyberspace.)