Black & White Street Photography, Life, Photography, Photojournalism

Real not Virtual


the paperback book
distant relic of the past
real not virtual

I’m going to make a book of these. Just for the hell of it.

This scene is becoming more rare every day.  The new world looks down on real books. We are the electronic everything society. Why get the real thing when you can have 1,000 virtual copies in your pocket?  Human hands look  much more natural grasping an actual book. “People reading real books” is on my list of things to photograph, along with “people with old school personal cassette players” and “old ass cars.”  There is no school like the old school, at least in my book. That’s not to say that I don’t enjoy and take advantage of the rapidly advancing technology that we live with, I just prefer the stuff I grew up around.


9 thoughts on “Real not Virtual

  1. I wonder. There are still a few new and used bookstores in the town where I live that seem to be doing ok. (although several used bookstores have closed in the last few years.) and seem to be doing well selling books. So I wonder if it is more about the lack of reading skills in a new generation than as you wrote, “The new world looks down on real books”.


    • Mixing marketing with reality?
      My kids use paper books in the school along with computers. At home, they (voluntarily) read books nearly as often as they use their smartphones (mostly to watch videos, though). Similar applies to my wife and to me. I actually see quite a gap between what PR wants us to believe is the future and what is actually happening “IRL”.

      On a more practical note, did you ever try to enjoy an illustrated book with an ebook reader? One of these larger format books, I mean. It just doesn’t work.
      It happened to me once that I was offered a free electronic copy of such a book. It was a collection of photographs and when I opened it with any of my devices, it was disappointing at best.

      In the end, I’m not worried about the future of paper books. They will continue to exist as long as there is no technology available to fully replace them. Worldwide, that is. And in the meantime I enjoy the opportunity electronic media offers to the people.


      • A pop-up book wouldn’t be the same either! One thing I’ve realized through this post is that both electronic and real books have value, and they can easily co-exist in our society. Now if we could legalize the growing of hemp we could print books on paper without even having to chop down one of our precious trees. 🙂


    • True! I went a little too far with that statement. We make it a point to give our daughter real books that she can touch and feel bit she also has access to a Kindle Fire and she is a pro with that thing. So it’s juggling real and virtual things in out lives I guess. We go back and forth between old and new!


  2. I very much prefer a real book. I visit our used book store a lot! But, I also do own an old Kindle and find fun books and short stories written by people like myself who love writing and reading! Best of both worlds?


  3. One other thing that’s on my mind Riding buses and trains, the scene is often about 90% of the riders are quietly staring into their phones. Half of them don’t even lift their heads up to acknowledge the people around them. That is where I am coming from. What do I expect though? Should everyone be introducing themselves to each other and engaging in lively conversations over tea and cookies? I guess not. The visual of how attached to our devices we are is just striking to me.


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