The digital debate

Roz of Clothes, Cameras and Coffee

Roz of Clothes, Cameras and Coffee

If there’s one blog that I read religiously then it’s Clothes, Cameras and Coffee written by Roz Jana. Beautiful landscape photographs, such well-styled vintage that you feel like you’ve stepped back in time and a shot of literature and creative inspiration is the perfect combination for engaging and warm reading material. If you haven’t already then you must go over to her blog. She is rather inspiring! Roz wrote a post on Thursday called “Dedicated follower of fashion” of which the content displayed not only the usual dose of vintage Vogue-esque outfits, but also a mini-debate on the topic of whether the way the internet is evolving will mean that it will eventually replace all books and magazines, and that instead we will all download them onto kindles and portable reading devices. This post is something of a re-hashed version of the ridiculously long comment I wrote on her post (apologies Roz!), but it sparked off the issue in my own mind and I’m sure I’m not the only person who also has a view on the subject…

I don’t think that books will ever die out; after all it’s now come back round into fashion to have vintage editions of magazines such as Vogue and first editions of famous and/or classic books. It’s the same with records – I buy records at charity shops and play them on our old record player. Obviously the quality isn’t there but there’s something so retro about playing records that makes them so appealing – almost as if we are rebelling against the digitization of the world.

I’m not saying that the internet is wrongly stealing the limelight from books and papers because, after all, we all write and read blogs and shop online and keep in contact with people and so we would be lost without it. However, I think that regarding newspapers it is much quicker and easier to find particular news items that are up to date on the web, and it’s because of this that The Times are trying to cash in by making people pay to view the news on their website unless they already subscribe to receive the actual paper. This concept could potentially be successful in raising subscription levels, but only if every single other news-broadcasting website in the world did the same thing, and let’s face it that’s not going to be happening any time soon.

I had the debate re kindles the other day with my friend as she has one and loves it as she can take all her books everywhere, but you always run the risk of breaking it/losing it (a £100+ kindle is harder to replace than a £6 copy of Pride and Prejudice) and it just isn’t the same as concentrating on and curling up with a good book and feeling that sense of satisfaction and fulfilment when you finish it.

I like to smell my books when I open them and feel the pages and become one with the book. I don’t want to read it off a screen. This leads to the problem of independent and even big chain bookshops closing as people are either buying them much cheaper off Amazon or are simply downloading them onto kindles. I would hate to lose the feeling of wandering round an independent book shop and browsing the endless titles. I think that’s why I love charity shops so much!

I share Roz’s hope that both types of media – the digital kind and the ‘in the flesh’ kind will continue to exist side by side without one decimating the other. There will always be books I hope – I mean in a couple of decades time books will probably be considered ‘vintage’ so at least we know that someone will be reading them! But what do you think? Will books soon be considered a thing of the past which can only be found in charity shops much like cassette tapes? Or will we always have them?

Photograph copyrighted to Roz Jana of Clothes, Cameras and Coffee

6 thoughts on “The digital debate

  1. Hi Alexandra, this is a fantastic post! I love you used mine as a starting point to elaborate – and I thought your eloquent original comment on my blog was very thought provoking. I definitely agree with loving the smell of books! I’m always borrowing orange penguin editions of books from my grandma’s house. She has a habit of cutting out book reiviews from the newspaper and putting them inside. How could you do that a screen? Thanks again.

  2. Hi again. Apologies about the awful grammar and spelling errors in the last comment – I need to learn to not type so quickly!

  3. Thanks Roz, and yes I know exactly what you mean about the restrictions of reading a book off a screen! Books are very personal especially when they smell a certain way or have been passed down through generations of the same family. I also use different photos or bookmarks to keep my page depending on the book because different books remind me of different people are places. Books are very personal and digital reading devices take all that away.

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