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A Book Doesn't Need a Battery

“You’re a crazy old man, Grandpa.” Joey said. Joey was hardheaded for a twelve-year old, and short, standing only at an even five feet tall. He was average build, slightly tanned skinned, brown hair, brown eyes; “Average Joe” everyone teased him. And like other average teenagers of his generation, he loved his electronics. More specifically, his electronic books. Which was what he and his grandpa were arguing about at that very moment?

“I’M crazy? You’re the one who thinks that electronic books are better than good, old-fashioned, hard copy books!” Grandpa said back. He looked like Joey aged a hundred years; exact same build, height, face, hair, only with more wrinkles and gray heir replacing the brown. Grandpa loved to read, but did not enjoy the electronic books, because “I can’t enjoy flipping the pages, and I feel like I control too much of the book.” Now, he and Joey were getting into it again about which were better, electronic books or hard-copy books.

“Look, Grandpa, an electronic book can be read in the dark! Heck, the lighting can be adjusted so that it can be read anytime!” Joey argued. “Ever hear of a flashlight, kid? I hear they’re pretty useful!” Grandpa retorted sarcastically. “Real books you can feel, can actually understand the term, ‘turn the page’!” Joey took advantage of his Grandpa’s retort, and said “Yeah, and we can learn about where the term for a paper cut came from, too!” Grandpa moved to the chair in the living room, a beat-up old leather recliner that could not even recline anymore. Joey sat on the couch that lay across from the chair, an e-book in his hand. “Plus, I can change the font and size so I can read it better! That should be a big hit with you, considering how you seem to need stronger glasses every other day!” Joey continued.

“First of all, my glasses need new lenses every other day because I break ‘em every other day, not because I need stronger lenses.” Grandpa said angrily. “Second, controlling the font style and size is the problem! It’s like mangling the way the author wrote the book, with each page set with a specific patter for the reader to enjoy! Worse, the government or the people that work with e-books can easily edit the electronic book so that instead of reading what the author wrote, you might be reading a book that has been edited! Imagine your precious Harry Potter books missing key parts from the hard copy, because someone in e-book editing didn’t like it or made a mistake!” “Grandpa,” Joey said with a smile on his face, “now you’re talking crazy. The government would not do that, and mistakes can be made with hard-copy books too. E-books can be easily edited; Hard-copy books cannot. Plus, an e-book can carry several books with the weight of less than one!” Grandpa was stumped at this, so he simply started reading his book, and Joey, feeling triumphant, turned on his e-reader.

Suddenly, Grandpa looked up at Joey, a smile on his face. “Joey, how long has it been since you charged that thing?” Grandpa asked innocently. “I don’t kn…DANG IT!” Joey yelled as his e-book suddenly shut off… Grandpa just laughed, and held up a small e-book charger in his hand. “That’s one big advantage over your little e-books, Joey.” He tossed the embarrassed Joey his e-book charger. “An e-book needs a battery just to work. A hard-copy book doesn’t need a battery so someone can flip to the next page.” Grandpa went back to reading his book, which he had been reading for hours without having to stop, going back to the first line on the page, “A sword may be considered less advanced than a gun, but think of this. A gun needs a bullet to be considered advanced and powerful. All a sword needs is a hand to use it.”



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AsIAm This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Feb. 2, 2013 at 2:59 pm
Nice job! I especially liked the end and the little details you threw in - "Average Joe"... hehe :)
 
AlexanderIvanAshford replied...
Feb. 2, 2013 at 5:37 pm
It's nice to hear you say that! Came up with "Average Joe" after a guy I know at school. He's completely average, and his name is Joey, ans so "Average Joe" was born!
 
monochromatic said...
Feb. 1, 2013 at 6:08 pm
pretty thought provoking! and unlike other ones I've read, it doesn't sound like you were trying too hard to make it sound good, it just flowed nicely:)
 
AlexanderIvanAshford replied...
Feb. 2, 2013 at 5:29 pm
Thank you! I was trying to think of something that people usually argue about, and this is what I came up with! Glad you liked it!
 
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