Did a bit of old school shopping today when I popped into the HMV in Guildford. I didn’t really want anything but I guess I popped in for nostalgic reasons (and partly through surprise that HMV was still trading). As I browsed the CDs and DVDs, it really struck me how much I just saw the discs as a vehicle for getting the music or film onto a computer and, actually, I’d rather just directly download whatever I wanted without having the hassle of deciding where to store a physical artefact.
And then I wandered over to the books. I was looking for books to read while on holiday, and in a slightly rational moment, I decided not to buy a large hardback book because it would take up too much space in the luggage. But instead of taking that to its logical conclusion and buying digital books to load up on the iPad, I decided that buying three paperbacks was the thing to do.
OK, I’m being a little bit extreme – unlike the CDs and DVDs, there’s still often a large price advantage enjoyed by physical books compared to their digital versions, and I’ll worry less about leaving a book rather than an iPad on the sun lounger while I go for cooling dip in the pool – but I still have an attachment to the printed word that I never had with CDs and DVDs. I guess because CDs and DVDs are just digital storage devices in the same way as any other storage medium.
Post title lyric taken from The Bees – These are the Ghosts