I’m reading the Tao Te Ching on my Kindle.

Is that weird? Is there something strange about reading an ancient and sacred text on a Kindle? Something that is so…not a scroll?

I’m still getting used to the Kindle in general. I love tech toys but I miss the smell of paper; I’m one of those nerds who shoves her face into old library books. I miss the feeling of turning a page and no, the page turning sound on the iPad doesn’t work for me, either. I can’t help it…I’m a writer; I like paper.

All these feelings are pushed to the extreme while reading something like the Tao Te Ching electronically. These are seriously revered texts. There is just something unnerving about it being digital, though I can’t entirely explain why. (Wait, isn’t the Tao about the acceptance of not knowing? Well, maybe it does still work on the Kindle…)

“A room without books is like a body without a soul.”

~Marcus Tullius Cicero

Is this where we are heading with e-books? Will future “book” shelves hold just vases and frames?

I must admit that the Kindle has some serious perks – it’s pretty awesome that Nelson Mandela’s 500+ page autobiography Long Walk to Freedom no longer takes up my entire carry-on. I also really do love the idea that going electronic saves trees and reduces toxic ink chemicals. Apparently, the carbon footprint analysis of e-books really is a legitimate environmental trade off; in this particularly icky analogy, e-readers are considered the “cloth diapers of books.” Um, eww. But point taken.

They are no longer printing the Oxford English Dictionary and Amazon sells more ebooks than hardcovers. That’s how digital we’ve become. It’s kind of weird to think that the dictionary is extinct.

I know. It’s as if I’m clutching a box of cassette tapes, yelling “No! I like it this way!”

It is undeniably amazing that I can download Autobiography of a Yogi. From my couch. In 30 seconds. For free.

I just wish they could make it smell like dead tree.

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