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Posted at 9:01 PM ET, 12/29/2010

Don't close the book on printed presidential papers

By Josh Sawislak, Alexandria

I was saddened to read in the Dec. 27 Style article “In a digital-age presidency, books live on” that the tradition of printing the public papers of the president could someday end.

Today there are numerous models and styles of electronic book readers available for sale. (I probably have owned or used half of them.) While these may herald doom for cheap paperback novels, no one should think they are capable of re-creating the feeling of history and permanence that comes from holding a printed and bound book. Presidential papers are the history of our nation, and the number of bound volumes sold should not be a factor in their value.

We humans have documented our exploits in permanent ways since we painted the story of the hunt on the walls of the cave. Yes, we may need to tighten the federal belt a few notches, but surely there are ways to save money other than by abandoning a tradition that says the actions of our government are more important than a summer novel.

By Josh Sawislak, Alexandria  | December 29, 2010; 9:01 PM ET
Categories:  D.C.  
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