Are Books Headed For Extinction?

Billy Rowlinson/<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/billyrowlinson/3193773937/">Flickr</a>

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Dear Anna: This isn’t social media related per se, but here’s my dilemma. I’m on the fence about the Kindle, especially since I keep reading about the slow extinction of print everything and don’t want to contribute to that. Also, maybe I feel some hipster guilt about e-books generally. What’s your take? Should I cave to technology peer pressure? Is this just embracing the future?
~Book Lover

You know, I love technology. I love that I can play Scrabble, listen to Glee songs at a really low volume so no one knows I’m not listening to TV On The Radio or some other socially sanctioned band, and post a blog on my iPhone all while waiting for the bus. I love that Twitter enables me to experience the profound insights of 50 Cent on a daily basis, such as, “I can’t belive my grandmother’s making me take out the garbage I’m rich f*ck this I’m going home I don’t need this shit.” I love that I can find an apartment, a job, and a blow job with a few clicks on Craigslist.

But when it comes to books, the future can embrace its cold, glossy exterior with my fist! Reading, for me, is a pleasure that should not be experienced on an LCD screen. Email is great, but love letters are better. I want to smell a book’s crisp pages, run my hands over its binding, marvel at the oily dents my fingers have created by re-reading the same favored passage over and over. Books are my muse and my dominatrix. They are meant to be adored.

That said, I am an avowed bisexual, and I see everything both ways. Here are some non-ranty pros and cons of Kindles, Nooks, iPads, and other e-readers.

Pro: The e-reader is lighter, weighing 8.5 ounces. Your average book weighs 12 ounces. A hardback weighs about two pounds.

Con: Seriously? Your pansy-ass hipster arms can’t hold a two-pound book? You’re an embarrassment to asymmetrical haircuts.

Read the rest of my online etiquette column at SF Weekly.

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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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