E-books can never replace the joy of reading favourite authors' writings on the printed text and flipping pages, participants at a literary meet including actor Dhritiman Chatterjee, historian Sugata Bose, and MP Jawhar Sircar said.
They were speaking at a discussion titled 'Much more than a book store' on Thursday's inaugural day of the Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival (AKLF).
Chatterjee said, "I have no difficulty in confessing that I am addicted to e-reading but there are certain authors such as Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay and Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay whose writings I would love to physically touch and flip pages, and want such books on my shelf."
The veteran actor, who has essayed critically acclaimed roles in Satyajit Ray's 'Pratidwandi', Mrinal Sen's 'Padatik' and Aparna Sen's '36 Chowringhee Lane', to name a few, said, "I grew up in an environment where voracious reading was encouraged." Chatterjee said that when a person gifts a book to someone, they give their heart and soul to it.
Sugata Bose, Gardener Chair of Oceanic History and Affairs at Harvard University, recalled how he would always hang out at book shops during his college days.
The Netaji Research Bureau chairperson said that given a chance, he would always choose reading a paperback or a hardbound book over an e-book.
Writer Anita Agnihotri recalled penning texts sitting at bookstores and lamented that letter writing has become a "forgotten art" now.
TMC lawmaker, former Prasar Bharati CEO, and MP Jawhar Sircar, "People love books for many reasons. One can live with a book for hours before going to sleep. Even when one falls asleep, he or she keeps the book close to him or her physically." He said despite the popularity of e-reading, printed texts are here to stay.
Pulitzer winner Alice Walker, Australian author John Zubrzycki, and poet Jeet Thayil are among over 100 speakers who deliberate on literary and social issues at the 14th edition of the four-day AKLF.