Real Books vs. e-Books

For real, die-hard book-lovers, this isn’t even a question. Of course, real books triumph over e-readers! The feel of their time-worn pages turning as you plunge towards an exciting ending; the smell of old smoke, patchouli, or something altogether more mysterious, bringing you back to childhood days devouring book after book; the joy of passing a well-loved title into the hands of a friend, knowing that you are passing on a whole world to them.

My Pretties.

But the benefits of an e-reader have begun to grow on me. The convenience of carrying a few hundred titles with you wherever you may wander, this is a pure joy any book-lover would understand. Other benefits include less heavy boxes when moving into that cool new apartment, a reasonable amount of shelves in ones house, and a zen-like attitude about dusting.

While e-readers could never fully replace some books, such as art books or your favourite dog-eared classics, I believe there is a place for them in your book-lover’s heart.

The main benefit, in my opinion, is the cheaper prices, meaning you can afford to keep up with your latest obsessions at around half the price of buying physical copies, without having to order your book ahead of time and pick it up, or hoping that your local bookstore will stock it. It’s also pretty cool having a small library in your purse. Whether you are in the mood for some philosophical musings, a fast-paced fictional tale, or some edgy erotica, your e-reader will be happy to provide, and nobody on the bus next to you gets to make knowing comments. Now that’s a bonus! (Us die-hard readers tend to be on the introverted side, and often don’t even want people to know what they are reading when it’s as innocent as Winnie-the-Pooh.)

An important caveat: don’t waste your time trying to read books on your smartphone or tablet. The screen was designed to make HD images and movies look beautiful in a darkened room, not display black text on a white background in bright sunlight, and the battery won’t last a day without charging. Save your smartphone for phone calls and your tablet for Netflix. The newest e-readers use magical e-ink, drain very little power, and weigh about the same as a small paperback. It’s the only legitimate comparison to an actual book, otherwise you might as well read on your computer screen and allow your eyes to ache daily with the strain of it.

I don’t think books are going away any time soon. But, just as mp3s have become mainstream and only audiophiles collect LP’s any more, e-books are here to stay, so get used to it. Now, I have to decide whether I want a Kindle or a Kobo….


Welcome to your home bass in the mountains.

Photo by E.M. Photography.
Photo by E.M. Photography.

Nestled in the mountains is a magical place, where people go to experience a bit of that magic themselves for a brief weekend in their lives.

Motion Notion is an electronic music festival that has been going for 15 years, 5 locations, and thousands of dance steps. Since its move from Drayton Valley, Alberta to Golden, B.C., it can no longer tout itself as “Alberta’s premier electronic music festival”, but it has already given the events in B.C. a run for their money.

Showcasing world-famous artists, performers, and stages it is a spectacle of lights and sound unlike any other, but the thing that makes MoNo (as it’s affectionately called) different isn’t something that is easily defined.

As a veteran, or “old schooler”, festival goer I have seen and done just about everything. Pounding bass, crazy costumes, excessive indulgence, wacky hijinks, and touching moments between friends new and old. Festivals make my world go round. 10 years and 20 festivals later I still hold Motion Notion dearest in my heart, and it isn’t because of the acts that it books, or the attendees is attracts. It’s the living, breathing, beating heart of the festival that keeps me coming back for more.

Despite its success, and its popularity, Motion Notion remains in the few-thousand attendees category. Big enough to be a massive party, small enough to feel like you matter. You can see the same smiling faces every day in your travels, and you can find that new friend again that you met that other night. You’re welcomed with hugs (and water) when you lose your way and end up in someone else’s camp, and you can rest assured that your own site is safe from vandals and theives as your neighbours are very friendly and will notice something suspicious. Girls can dance without fear because fellow festival goers are respectful, and if they get too grabby the community will set them straight; security rarely has to intervene, it’s the people and the vibe that maintains order here.

Friendly vendors, and affordable food are some of the financial perks to MoNo. The festival charges less for fees, so the businesses can charge less for what they’re selling. A breakfast that costs $15 at another, larger, festival will cost you $5-10 at Motion Notion. A retail vendor will give you the personal attention you deserve as they aren’t overwhelmed by other customers, or shoplifters.

Each stage is set up, and taken down every year: no permanent structures remain, giving the event a feeling of blissfull temporary beauty. You feel like you are part of something fleeting, and special. You feel like you, yourself, are special just by getting to be a part of something so lovely.

Want bass? They got it! With PK Sound beating your eardrums into gleeful submission the sound quality is comparable to larger festivals, but with the dance floor space to really let loose and flail.

First timers at a festival can look forward to the awesome party, without being overwhelmed by the magnitute and facelessness of giant crowds. Don’t worry, the crowds are big, but manageable. You will be surrounded by beautiful dancing people in the thick of the stages, but can escape to catch your breath and take in the night sky just a moment away. You will feel safe, and more open to experiences at a festival like this, as it is has not lost its grassroots charm, nor it’s polished spectacle.

Veterans can catch their breath in a place like Motion Notion. If you’ve been to festivals before, you will certainly appreciate the unique beauty of the location, and the lack of corporate involvement. These people aren’t out to take all your money and leave you sleep deprived and buzzing for the ride home, they’re out to include you in an immersive experience that enriches your soul.

They say there’s no place like home. Well, there’s no place like Motion Notion. Welcome home.