By Ellie Maas Davis
“The technology I like is the American paperback edition of Freedom. I can spill water on it and it would still work! So it’s pretty good technology.” –Jonathan Franzen
I’m the Mitt Romney of e-books. I embrace and celebrate or detract and undermine e-book platforms depending on who’s around. It’s situational. When I can’t find the cord to my Kindle, I long for the days of paperback. When I’m able to buy a book naked I’m happy as punch.
At first glance, I took offense when Jonathan Franzen—and I’ve since learned what he said was taken somewhat out of context—spoke that a “literature-crazed” person should stick with book-books (this is what I call any book that have an actual print run). But I have to admit it feels strange to read Edgar Allan Poe on a Kindle. I much prefer the battered, beach-worn edition I’ve had since university.
Oh, Jonathan (in this vision he and I are on a first name basis), I do know what you mean: there is a sense of “permanence” to this old, weathered book-book of mine. There’s evidence of the different times I’ve revisited it throughout the years—there’s even a smudge of stage makeup from when I read The Masque of the Red Death on stage at Fort Moultrie three times in one night. Yes, here’s my history with Poe—permanently etched in my memory and this old thing I hold in my hand that fits just right.
Ellie Maas Davis
Original version of this article published at Pressque.com.
Educated at Southern Methodist University, the University of Kansas, and the University of Witswatersrand in Johannesburg, Ellie Maas Davis has written extensively on the environment and issues of human rights. She is the owner of Pressque, a publishing consultation firm located in downtown Charleston that offers editing, ghostwriting, and marketing services to authors and publishers.
She is a founding board member of the Lowcountry Initiative for the Literary Arts, a former curator and host of Charleston’s longest running weekly literary series, Monday Night Blues, and serves as a mentor to senior writing students at Charleston County School of the Arts. Published in a number of anthologies and journals, she is the author of The Humours of Folly, See Charleston in a Day, 100, over a dozen ghostwritten works of fiction and nonfiction, and often reviews books for The Post and Courier. When she’s not living somewhere else, she makes her home on Daniel Island with her family.
*Photo Courtesy of www.evergreenwood.net