We are Legion: A Defense of Physical Books

EDible News: Brooke Solnik, Contributor

Boxes in 2-D

Phones, computers, and TV screens

They increase, multiply, take over

The new way replaces the old

But is it really

“new and improved”?

Leaves on trees crumple with the change of seasons

Just as the pages of a book grow faded with age

Only the screen is a different beast

It glows brightly, a beacon, until over time its light begins to malfunction and

eventually goes dark

making the typeface that once appeared there


You open a book and fall into the ever-changing abyss lined with lettering and paper

When you look at a screen, you fall in

Yet the abyss is not an abyss

but a mess of wires and electricity, burning the eyes

No two books are the same

I mean the feel and shape of them as

you hold each book in your hands and set it down again

They are a tangible weight in both the hands and the heart

A comfort not just of one

But of three


Ten thousand

A million

That sense of finality when the last page is turned

and the book closed

Yet even as you change books with that screen

the screen itself remains the same

and plunges your surroundings into darkness

A lonesome thing

maybe even ominous or scary thing

The consistent holding of a screen which results in

rusty wrists and knobbly knees

Books are Legion

But there is only one screen

if you happen to have the misfortune to use one to read

There are copies upon copies of the same title – different languages, different covers, and yet

No two books ever feel the same

No two readings are ever the same

Still a screen is just a screen




We are Legion

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