An ebook is not a book

Trying to pass an ebook for a book is like trying to pass a projection on the wall for a photo.

A book is more than just the text and the images that it contains, we call it book but it is a complex repository of meanings, it weights in our hand. A book has a smell, the sum of all its past; a book has an age, given by the folds and tears in its cover, and by the yellow of the pages; a book has a memory, and you know what I mean if you ever picked up a book to find in its pages grains of sand from a long-ago holiday.

An ebook never changes, it is always equal to itself, it can never belong to you because it doesn’t scrap any part of you (smell, particles of skin, oil from the fingertips); an ebook doesn’t say anything about who you are (it doesn’t have pages folded by you, disrespectful reader); inside an ebook you’ll never find objects used as bookmarks and then forgotten.

An ebook is the distant representation of a book, just like an image projected on the wall very little has in common with that small picture, folded at its corners, that you keep so dearly with you, wherever you go.

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