Relish in Your Own Superiority with Physical Books

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Illustration by Alyssa Long

Eric Kwon

Staff Writer

Illustration by Alyssa Long

There’s no better feeling than sitting down in your favorite spot and opening up your favorite book. What are you reading? It doesn’t matter. There are actual words swimming from the paper into your brain. What you’ve become now is a changed person who is in fact better than everyone else.

Why do physical books have that effect? Maybe it’s the knowledge that you’re a part of a long-standing tradition of an activity that has persisted for thousands of years, unaffected by the invasive hands of technology. Some might say, “Well, digital books can offer the same intellectual experience,” but what is tradition when you’re holding the latest Kindle Fire (or your phone) in your hand? Exactly — there is no tradition. 

Having physical books is a staple to recognizing your own cerebral superiority, on both a private and public scale. 

Who wants to miss out on a chance to romanticize their life as a reader? As you mull around in your home, you feel warm seeing your barely started biography face-down on the couch. Cooking your dinner? You see your dog-eared book on the counter and remember how smart and multi-talented you are. This effect is especially powerful when you’re out in public and you have a physical book with you. 

Physical books offer a multitude of benefits while traveling. Every time you go into your bag for water, the book you brought along with you appears in your periphery, reminding you of your high intellectuality. On the other hand, bringing a book along can also act as a double-edged sword; if you’re not reading, it can make you feel guilty, having you frame yourself as simply an amateur posing for the academic aesthetic. 

Of course, that’ll never happen because you read consistently and in good quality!

In contrast to digital books, physical books let other people know that you’re reading in the first place, which is undoubtedly very important. You might be reading an excellent book on your phone, but do other people know that? No, they think you’re scrolling through TikTok like everyone else.

The immediacy of the physical book conveys so many things at once. Not only does it signal that you have a real book in your hands, it can let other people know the type of book you’re reading. Though the classics always elicit an impressive response, an obscure title can achieve the same effect. After all, it’s not like they’ve read your book and can judge you for its rigor or plot. 

In public, travel-sized books are preferable for obvious reasons, but a larger book indicates that you’re willing to sacrifice convenience for good reading. The thicker the book, the higher the level that people rate you on both an intellectual and attractive scale (this has all been statistically proven of course). 

Bringing books to any type of social gathering is the highest form of superiority. These can include a wide array of events, like sporting events and parties. Casually taking out your physical book (or even talking about it, really) in the middle of the function maximizes the chances of people recognizing your intellect. Essentially, you’re exuding an aura that screams, “I would rather be reading, i.e., learning — exactly what you’re learning about is irrelevant, naturally — than socializing with other people.” Is socialization really all that important anyway? 

“Casually taking out your physical book (or even talking about it, really) in the middle of the function maximizes the chances of people recognizing your intellect.”

In conclusion, we’ve gone through a deep examination on exactly why physical books are so appealing. They not only make you feel better about yourself, but also let other people know how much better you are. So the next time you plan for brunch, bring a book with you. Bask in the glory of knowing your own superiority. 

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