I was trying to explain this to a friend of mine..perhaps it is a personal opinion, perhaps it is something a lot of people think but haven’t attached a name to, but there are some books in some editions which feel inexplicably good to the touch.
Just a quick image of one part of one shelf in my room with well worn copies i would never replace with other editions, nevermind an Ebook version. There is something about a well worn paperback that feels good between the fingers. There are even some hardcover editions that just ‘feel right’ come on…shouldn’t beowulf or basically anything written in a dead language only be read in a blue cloth hardback from Oxford U?
Of my favorite books I have many copies..even if i go out of my way to buy a first edition, that may not be my FAVORITE edition of said book. Das Boot by Bucheim i have many copies and editions..but for some reason my favorite is the well worn paperback with the curved spine. I can’t say that the above Avon paperback of Dracula is my favorite edition of that book, even though it has marvelous biblio-umami, my favorite copy to revisit is the Modern library copy with the green face dust jacket. My favorite copy of Moby Dick is not the fat Random House Rockwell Kent that i have on the shelf..but the little bitty Oxford Classic edition that i rebound in blue cloth – add a little gilt lettering and it could be mistaken for a bible.
There are definitely some editions that are nicer to hold than others. Ebooks on any device may be nice to read on the go, such as newsmedia, text books, reference books etc..but they will never replace the tactile experience of reading.