If you are like a reader like me you love hard copies (paperbacks) as opposed to ebooks. You love how they feel in your hands, how they look, how they smell and how decorative they can be. The navigation is a bit smoother and easier and they make browsing more fun. Yes, we love actual books. In fact, you don’t even own an e-reader, you hate ebooks because you feel they are destroying the experience of reading and bringing an end to brick-and-mortar bookshops because you love roaming the aisles and finding your next favorite author by complete chance, something that probably would not happen since eBook retailers recommend a lot of shit, therefore channeling and controlling what you discover next, via those “People Who Bought This Also Bought” (not the same as walking into a book and discovering a killer author, unswayed by review stars etc). With all these things, I still prefer ebooks over physical copies. I love physical copies but time and time again I will choose ebooks over hard copies.
This is the story of why.
When I was about 5 years old my then best friend’s family, who were also our neighbors, were going to the other side of town for the day and for a reason I can’t remember they asked my mom if they can take me with them. So they did. They were going to spend the whole day there, at their relatives’. So we went, I was excited about this. After a few hours there I got super bored. I missed my mom and playing by myself on patio with my imaginary friends. So I told my friends’ mom I wanted to go home, she told me we were going to leave soon. An hour past and I grew even more miserable, I went to the bathroom and cried my eyes out. It is like she didn’t want me to go or take me seriously, that made me anxious for some reason. I don’t remember why but I decided to walk back by myself which was stupid since I had no idea where exactly we were and I would surely get lost and kidnapped. Alone, I sneaked out and started walking home.
After walking a good distance I realized nothing looked familiar where I was, I didn’t know how to get home or go back where I came from. I was lost, but I couldn’t stand still for fear that someone would notice I’m lost. So I kept walking. The more I meandered there more nervous I became. Dusk came the day was drawing to an end. It was in this helpless and distraught state I remembered something. I remembered we had the tallest pine tree in town, on a virtually flat landscape, so you could see the tree from whichever point you were if nothing huge was blocking your view. So I skimmed the the skyline and there northwesterly, at the tip of my sight, was our pine tree. All I had to do was walk towards that direction and I would be home. And so I walked, the more distance I covered the closer, bigger and taller it the pine tree became. The tree calmed me, it talked to me and I talked to it too, we even sang together and it kept urging me on. It had deep voice like God’s and it felt as protective and fatherly. Even when I walked passed sketchy places it was my guardian angel making me feel secure. Of course, it was all my imagination but I wouldn’t have gotten home that day if it wasn’t for that pine tree. I really doubt I would have. So I became huge friends with the pine tree.
A few years later, its roots caused cracks in the house, so my father had the tree cut and removed. I protested and fought for days by I couldn’t save it. It was one of the most traumatic days of my life when that happened. I didn’t know how much it affected me until at the age of 22 in a therapist’s office when I bawled my eyes out over a tree I was imaginary friends with. I’m not a tree-hugger, I believe tree huggers only save trees/plants because it benefits the environment and them, they don’t actually love trees. I l, on the other hand, literally love trees not because of what they can do for us but because they are trees. I love them like I love my dog and cat. So when learnt paper was made from trees and I loved books, every book I bought made me feel a bit guilty, because it meant a tree had died for my pleasure. Sure I loved books but I couldn’t stand the lingering guilt that came with buying hard copies.. So you can imagine the relief I felt when I discovered ebooks, it meant I could have books without hurting trees directly.
And that is why I prefer ebooks over physical copies.
That might be a strange reason but I believe trees are like dogs, you don’t hurt them. I feel like they feel pain, that is why when people trim their trees for aesthetic reasons I kinda flip out. I want my trees to be happy. And to this day I still treat trees like animals which have consciousness.
Thanks for reading
Now I will leave you with a song lyric that may or may not have anything to do with today’s post:
“Eyes far into the distance
A life that does not connect
Time played well its part
On the strings that bind us.” – Dark Tranquility ‘Her Silent Language’