I recently read an article in The Guardian, May 13, 2016: "Books are back. Only the technodazzled thought they would go away", by Simon Jenkins. It made me gloat.
Damn well, books are "back". They never left me in the first place!
It is one thing reading the news online, which I do and enjoy; but reading a book online has never appealed to me.
The news are made for the digital age: there is always something happening, the news are immediate, in the moment. And the moment passes quickly. Ephemeral is the moment. Ronsard made sure of explaining it to us in verse,didn't he?
A book is made for duration, for lasting. A book is like a relationship: you love it or hate it; it leaves you thrilled, inspired or mitigated. You can come back to a book you read many years ago and still read something new, because you have evolved and read this same book with a different set of mind. I re-read books all the time.
At the same time I read new books. I notice a long-time favorite author 's writing evolution or his/her internal transformation, just like one would of a friend. I read new writers also because I like making new friends.
A book has a smell, like a person. It has a texture, like a person's skin. Different publishers make for different smells, fonts, paper...
A book you hold in your hands, you take in your arms, you fall asleep with or stay awake with. A book is one's lover, the only faithful relationship in your life, the only one where the dialogue, albeit silent, between the words on the page and your intimate self is permanent, understanding, never incriminating.
Even a book you do not enjoy now will teach you something about yourself. You may even re-read it later and find an echo that did not exist before when you first read it.
A book is for keeping. In paper. On your shelves.