Answer is, obviously, "words, words, words."
Q. What's the matter? The matter is contained in the words. Not in the cover art. Not in the spine. And not in the typeface. Groooober says, about typeface:
So the knock against e-books, in my opinion, is that they’re not carefully dressed like print books are. They’re wearing generic uniforms.Fair enough. But think back to your favorite book in the world. Do you have a strong association with the cover art? With the spine of the book? With the size or color of the page?
For me, the answer to the above is yes, but barely. Even the smell of an old book (which is a powerful and distinctive memory) is amazingly secondary to the matter of the words. The ability to read book after book after book on my (lightweight, always in my pocket) phone is, for me, an extraordinary evolution and enhancement of the written word.
What about you, dear reader? Do you like ebooks, or is your relationship with books less about the words and more about the paraphernalia?