the ghost in the machine
Paper books are a nuisance. They have weight, they collect dust, they take up space, you have to cull them all the time or move to bigger houses, & they come with a preposterous claim to some of the value of the texts they contain: but once you’ve bought them they’re on the shelf. Nobody can take them back. Neither does the bookshop owner continue to inhabit them–& your house–in that creepy 90s-internet-bubble way we’ve come to know & not love. I’d rather store a lot of dead trees than have someone who claims to be human but would fail the Turing test slinking about among my stuff in the dark then sending me fatuous authoritarian emails in the morning. I don’t like to borrow books. I like to own them.