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Pee-you! Twafflish Times Post Makes Case for Smelly Books


Nick Bilton, the Times "Bits" blogger, wrote an odious post this morning about the nostalgia induced by paper books. While wandering aimelessly around Manhattan, Bilton stumbles into a moldering used bookstore straight out of Gremlins and is overcome with feeling:

The scent of physical books — the paper, the ink, the glue — can conjure up memories of a summer day spent reading on a beach, a fall afternoon in a coffee shop, or an overstuffed chair by a fireplace as rain patters on a windowsill.

IPads and Kindles, in comparison, don’t necessarily smell like anything.

Let's ignore the fact that iPads and Kindles smell like the blood of the exploited workers who manufacture them; this is just a silly argument easily dispatched. Perhaps Bilton is trying to further his tech agenda by making the lamest case for paper imaginable. Lamer than his argument: after sniffing around the shop some more, he leaves without buying anything. 

"Yes, I miss physical books. I miss bookstores, too," he writes.  "I miss them a lot." (We get it! You miss them! But why not, like, support them?) "I only hope that someone figures out how to give their digital counterparts a little more feeling." (Ohhh, that's why.)

While Bilton waits for the children of Shenzen to install Smell-O-Vision onto his Kindle, bookseller Kevin Elliott reacts on his blog

[Bilton's post] infuriates me as a bookseller. It infuriates me as someone who reads both ebooks and print books. It infuriates me as someone who suffers from mold and pollen allergies, yet still reaches for a physical book 90% of the time. It is no wonder that booksellers across the country are resistant to change and progress. Most of them don’t want to read in the same library as someone so condescending and precious.

  Someone should tell Bilton that every time you infuriate a bookseller, a kitten dies. And dead kittens stink even worse than his post. (Just barely.)

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