Last year the sale of printed books fell considerably while the number of persons who read e-books rises; that means we’ll live in a world dominated by e-books?

The nostalgic of printed books may worry that he will be deprived of what he considers as a special object. A printed book is not just a pile of paper sheets; it is a treasure because it contains the thought and experience of its author. There are readers who underline and highlight the passages which are important.

Last year I happened to travel in Australia. I came across the Christian movement named Born Again. They were very kind to me and allowed me to take part in their meetings. All of them had their personal Bible which they kept in a leather case. There was a lady of Sicilian origin close to me. When she opened her Bible, I was stunned on seeing she had underlined almost all lines. Furthermore, she inserted sheets that contained her personal reflections. I admired that lady who really loved her book. If she had an e-book, would the same have been done? Of course not!

While I am in India, I gave a copy of The Vibrations of Words to my piano teacher. After a few days, she showed me the book. I was surprised at seeing that she highlighted many paragraphs with a violet pencil.

“Do you like my book?” I asked.

“I like it very much.” She answered with a pleased tone.

Personally, I am not against e-books because they are useful and simple means to read everywhere. We can enjoy reading books very easily.

Every book is precious whatever shape it can take. Nevertheless, the main task of books both printed and electronic is to give information, knowledge, pleasure, and so on. A good book delights the reader’s mind and elevates his soul. But books cannot be assimilated to a shelter. There are people who flee from life and take refuge in books. If reading books is just escape from life, even a good book cannot be helpful.

Ettore Grillo author of The Vibrations of Words


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