The Attraction of Printed Books

We all have our peculiarities. One of mine is a preference for the printed word over its electronic equivalent. Basically, this is merely a personal proclivity, but I dress it up as prudent preparation for the day when Western politicians have to face up to their failure to provide an adequate growing supply of reliable electrical power. There will not be enough electric power to support both their favorite Electric Vehicles and the massive server farms required for the cloud. Something will have to be rationed – and we can rely on the Political Class to make the wrong choice. When that unfortunate day comes, those of us with printed books will smile.

That brings me to an amazing source of printed materials – Zubal Books in Cleveland, Ohio – the place where the theory of the aether met its end. For anyone who shares my printed perversion, it is worth checking out.

Zubal Books

For example, I have long been intrigued by Claude Shannon, who did so much to provide the basis for communication theory. Zubal indeed has a copy of Shannon’s original 1949 “The Mathematical Theory of Communication”. Unfortunately, at $768.33, that volume will not be joining my stack.


Initially, I, too, preferred printed books. I have evolved thanks to practicalities. I read every night in bed. My wife is completely intolerant of any light I might use to read. When I read on Kindle Fire, set at lowest illumination, nighttime mode and layout of black background/white typeface, she barely notices it and I can read fine.

In addition, I like the fact I don’t need any hands to read it. In bed it sits on a pyramid shaped pillow so I needn’t hold it. In other places, I use a gooseneck Kindle holder. Similar devices for real books are considerably less convenient.

I’m afraid of the electricity rationing also. You’ll still need it for nighttime reading of printed books, though. I envisage a “whole lot of (battery) chargin’ goin’ on”! (à la Jerry Lee Lewis).