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Everyone has at least one book that they love. One book that they cherish not only for the words within, but for the memories and sensations that accompany it. More often than not, this book has been somewhat damaged, but what of it?

You know the one. It's been ripped and torn and dog-eared and underlined and dropped in the bath. It's had food and drink and other, more unidentifiable substances spilled on it. It's narrowly escaped being left out in the rain or falling into the pool multiple times. It's gone with you everywhere, or most places, at least. It's seen tears, laughter, love, pain, illness and occasionally death. It's the book you end up throwing in your suitcase when you're leaving despite the fact that you have a hardback copy of a newer, more exciting book to read on your flight/in your train car/on a bus. It's been re-covered multiple times, and is probably held together with scotch tape and willpower alone at this point.

Then there are is the book that you treasure too much to love as thoroughly as the scotch-tape-and-willpower book. It's a special edition, maybe. It has a lovely cover and library binding. It might even be signed/doodled in/blessed in some arcane ceremony by The Author, making it that much more precious. This book's aesthetic evokes memories as well.

You can't hold a Kindle together with scotch tape and willpower, and you can't have it signed by a favorite author. You might be able to carry a whole library in one little device, and if you're anything like me, your shoulders/back/knees/wrists will probably be thanking you for not carrying as many books, but it will never have the same aesthetic as a Real Book. It won't smell like paper, the pages won't flip, it won't snap shut satisfyingly at the end.

E-readers may carve out their own place in the world of people who love to read, but they won't ever replace the Book.