We Are All Fetishizing


Should the backlash (by some) against the move towards e-readers and digitized literature be kept…behind closed doors? An opinion piece in the NYT is convinced that arguments-by prominent politicians, historians, librarians–that digitization cheapens the experience of reading, don’t really file under elitism, or mere stubbornness in the face of transformative tech overload, but fetishism. Hmm..

Of course it isn’t just scholars who prefer reading the traditional way. A lot of us like the feeling of knowledge asserting itself via the mere weight of a book. But just so you know, “It’s related to the fancy that what one loves about books is the grain of paper and the scent of glue.”

And as interactive book apps prioritize visual and audio interpretations of our favorites, and certain online marketplace behemoths ease selling of thousands of cut-and-paste “books,” and library starts to mean a platform rather than a place, looks like we’re all supposed to start hoarding these increasingly rare objects of our affections. Or maybe start a support group?

Emmy Komada is a translator and assistant editor at Two Lines Press, part of the Center for the Art of Translation. She likes languages, and reading, and trying to read in various languages. More from this author →