"What an astonishing thing a book is. It’s a flat object made from a tree with flexible parts on which are imprinted lots of funny dark squiggles. But one glance at it and you’re inside the mind of another person, maybe somebody dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, an author is speaking clearly and silently inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people who never knew each other, citizens of distant epochs. Books break the shackles of time. A book is proof that humans are capable of working magic."

Carl Sagan, on books

There is something about holding an organized pile of wood pulp and dried ink that gives the reader a shared stake in the author’s experience, some small part-ownership of a piece of information. “This is mine, and although the words in it are not, the experience is purely personal.”

Where will this take us with e-books? I am a huge fan of their accessibility and their rich creative potential, but will the magic persist?

(via Brain Pickings)