Is this the year we toss paper in the bin for good? Where we write everything on a phone or tablet and swap paperbacks for ebooks? Paper might be going out of fashion – but I won’t be turning over a digital leaf.
Can you tear a strip off a tablet and put it in a place where someone can’t miss it? Can you pin a smartphone to a notice board? Can you see the marks on a much-used recipe when you retrieve it from your laptop favourites?
Not only does paper have practical benefits that gadgets will never have, it also has character – even romance.
There’s something very secure about paper. Maybe I feel that because I’ve experienced too many computer crashes. Or perhaps it’s due to the nightmares I’ve had about giving a presentation to a crowded room and finding the computer I’m relying on won’t turn on.
I can’t help but feel that people who keep vital files on their laptop and nowhere else are asking for trouble – whether it gets stolen or it just gives up the ghost. Yes, you can back things up, but lots of people don’t.
While I’ve often given books as presents in the past, there’s something very unsatisfying about buying someone an ebook – what do you actually hand over as a gift? What will we line our shelves with when books fall from favour?
How will you be able to see at a glance when you visit someone whether you share a taste for historical fiction, horses or Iain Banks? No, physical books are a critical part of making a house into a home.
Some people will always want to try the newest device just because it’s new. And while there are of course benefits to going digital, such as saved trees and the ease with which you can share files, there will always be a place for paper. Reports of its death are greatly exaggerated.