(this is a picture of a chromolithograph)
They're quite striking in person, even in lesser examples like ours the colors are hugely more vibrant than anything offset printing can produce. I'd cherry picked a stack of the more interesting ones for personal use & gifts for friends. I find them fascinating, less for their graphic content (as striking as it can be) than for their genesis as commercial objects produced by fine art techniques and now extinct....I love them as objects.
So this guy bought a nice stack and malingered at the counter chatting with his friend while I rang up the rest of the line. He'd apparently purchased a commercial scanner setup and was going to start a side gig selling prints of stuff like weird old chromolithographs scrounged from used book stores.
And I thought to myself, "why?"
The original object is absolutely worthy of fascination, the particulars of its creation transcending whatever image it depicts. But the magic of a chromolithograph is specific to the process, translation into offset print renders it no more inherently interesting than a picture on your computer screen, like the one a few paragraphs up the page. The intensity & quality of the color is not reproducible....other than chromolithographically.
And that is a difference I have with a great many people.
I appreciate the particulars objects beyond their function, I crave the sensation of made things. I dismiss ereaders for the same reasons I roll my eyes at the notion of copying a chromolithograph. Acceptance of either seems a species of surrender to the basest impulses of capitalism- cheaper, easier, faster, more, and never a pause to consider what's been lost.