"Could it be the fact that the e-book thwarts our ability to find particular lines by remembering their position on the page? Or our love of scribbling comments (of praise and disgust) in the margin? ... We can’t so easily flick through the pages to see where the present chapter ends, or whether so and so is going to die now or later. In general, the e-book discourages browsing, and though the bar at the bottom of the screen showing the percentage of the book we’ve completed lets us know more or less where we’re up to, we don’t have the reassuring sense of the physical weight of the thing (how proud children are when they get through their first long tome!), nor the computational pleasures of page numbers (Dad, I read 50 pages today). This can be a problem for academics: it’s hard to give a proper reference if you don’t have page numbers."And the author then asks: "But are these old habits essential?" I think it's a really good question, and for me the answer is, I can do without these old habits and expectations. I make those complaints from time to time, but I've really learned to live with e-books and even to mark up the passages that I want to come back to. Anyway, I never wrote in books, just left sticky notes to myself on the pages.
Friday, February 17, 2012
Liking E-Books or Not
I have written once or twice about my reaction to e-books, specifically Kindle books, which I now read mainly on my iPad Kindle app. I just read a very satisfying summary of objections I have overcome or problems I have learned to live with. Tim Parks, in a New York Review of Books article titled "E-books Can't Burn," asks why should we dislike e-books? His possible reasons why are insightful:
Posted by Mae Travels at 12:43 PM